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Citrus Park man charged with animal cruelty


Published:   |   Updated: July 5, 2013 at 02:10 PM

A Citrus Park man has been charged with cruelty to animals, after sheriff's deputies say he deliberately and repeatedly caused unecessary pain to his 3-year-old male pit bull mix, Spike.

Christopher Justin Mendez, 24, turned himself in to a Hillsborough County jail on Thursday, after a felony warrant had been issued for his arrest.

The warrant came after Hillsborough County Animal Services received a complaint that between May 4 and June 23, a man living at 14044 Citrus Point Drive had intentionally held the dog up by its neck and forcibly slammed it to the concrete floor. In another incident, Mendez threw what appeared to be a rock or cement block at the dog, causing it to yelp, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Hillsborough County Animal Services removed Spike from the residence, as well as a 10-week-old pit bull puppy named Hennessy.

Spike suffered from a hematoma on his head and further veterinary examination results are pending.

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