A Port St. Lucie man was arrested on Friday and is facing an animal cruelty charge after his dog was found locked in a kennel without any food or water.
Police say the dog’s rib and hip bones were “easily visible” and had “very little muscle mass.”
Sgt. Keith Boham said officers were called to the home on Sept. 3 after the owner noticed her tenant’s emaciated 2-year-old boxer named Rocky in a cage with no dog food or water bowl.
The homeowner, who was also Rocky’s veterinarian, told police that the dog “appeared extremely malnourished and emaciated.”
When police contacted the owner of the dog, Timothy Sickel, he told officials that he believed Rocky was experiencing separation anxiety from another dog that moved away.
Sickel told police that he “regularly feeds the dog, but it did not seem to gain any weight.”
Veterinarians said Rocky weighed 40 pounds upon arrival, but Boham said the dog now weighs 16 pounds more than he did in September.