21-year-old Haines City man charged with felony animal cruelty

Two dogs were found dead near a pond in Haines City with several puncture wounds from a sharp object, a Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release said.

HAINES CITY, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged a Haines City man with several counts of felony animal cruelty in the stabbing deaths of two Chihuahua-mix dogs, according to a news release.

Warning: This article contains descriptions of animal abuse and cruelty some readers might find this disturbing.

Investigators were called out to reports of animal cruelty Tuesday in the Hidden Lake Preserve neighborhood in Haines City, where they met with several witnesses of the abuse, officials said.

Residents told deputies they heard dogs yelping, then saw 21-year-old Angel Enrrique Burgos carrying two small dogs to a pond, one by one, striking them repeatedly with a sharp object.

One witness said they saw Burgos throwing each dog toward the pond after he struck them.

Investigators obtained surveillance video from a neighbor’s garage camera, which they said shows exactly what witnesses described. In the video, what sounds like dogs yelping can be heard as the figure walks toward the grassy pond.

When he left, the witness went toward the pond and found both dogs lying dead on the side of the pond, according to the release.

Detectives recovered the two dogs from the pond and sent them to a veterinarian doctor for a necropsy.

The necropsy determined the dogs, both Chihuahua mixes, died from internal bleeding which caused them to suffocate and drown on their own blood. The dogs suffered a total of 21 puncture wounds to their chest caused by a sharp object, detectives said.

“This behavior on Burgos’ part is disgusting. He caused the pain, suffering and death of two dogs for which he had a moral responsibility to nurture and provide care,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “Human depravity like this still shocks me. There is no excuse.”

Upon further investigation, authorities found where Burgos washed his driveway with a brush and water hose in an “attempt to alter, destroy, conceal and remove evidence” from the driveway, the release said.

Officials also found bloodied items in several trash bins outside Burgos’ home, including a light grey t-shirt, blue shorts, socks, black slides, and a knife with “light colored hair” on it, the release said.

Burgos was taken into custody without incident and was transported to the Sheriff’s Processing Center by Haines City Police Department.

He faces two counts of felony animal cruelty, two counts of improper disposal of deceased animals, two counts of illegal dumping and one count of tampering with evidence.