A Florida man is behind bars after sparking statewide concern over the fate of a vulnerable puppy. Police have charged him with felonies for the young pup’s theft, although it is not entirely clear if he will face any other allegations related to the incident. Currently, his only criminal charge appears to be a single count of grand theft.
Police believe that the man is responsible for a Jan. 12 theft of a 2-pound Yorkie puppy from a local pet store. He was arrested only days later on Jan. 15, apparently based off of his resemblance to the images captured by the pet store’s security camera. He did not have the dog in his possession at that time. Authorities claim that he had not kept the dog, but had instead traded it to another individual for a sum of money as well as an illegal substance.
The puppy turned up at an animal hospital on Jan. 19. She was brought in by an unidentified individual who claimed to have bought the puppy and was concerned for its health. The attending veterinarian scanned the dog’s microchip and confirmed that it was the missing pup. The dog is currently still receiving care, and it is unclear exactly to whom she will eventually be released.
Grand theft charges are considered felonies in Florida and can carry especially severe consequences. Most defendants hope to minimize the impact of these charges on their lives, an understandable goal and one that can be accomplished with the right guidance. This typically comes with the careful review of all charges and evidence alongside defense counsel, who can reveal invaluable insight into how best to proceed. Some find that fighting their charges until the very end of trial court proceedings is the best option for their situation, while others opt to negotiate a plea deal that might result in lesser charges or other benefits.