Woman arrested for roosters faces more animal cruelty charges

OKEECHOBEE — A 28-year-old Okeechobee woman was arrested Wednesday for allegedly leaving animals in the back of a truck without fresh air and water.

Dominga Ascencio Baltazar-Saucedo, Northwest 98th Street, was arrested May 16 on four counts of misdemeanor charge cruelty to animals. Her bond was set at $4,000. She has since been released. Baltazar-Saucedo was arrested April 27 on 25 counts of felony charge of baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting.

Dominga Ascencio Baltazar-Saucedo

According to an incident report by Deputy Ryane Ammons, at 11:29 a.m. on May 16, he responded to the parking lot near Goodwill, located in the 3200 block of U.S. 441 South, in regards to an animal complaint.

Upon his arrival Deputy Ammons spoke with the complainant who reportedly informed him that when they returned to their vehicle heard barking come from the bed of a truck, that was fitted with a tonneau cover and the tailgate shut. The complainant said they were concerned for the well being of the dogs and that while on the phone with dispatch the owner, Baltazar-Saucedo, of the animals approached the vehicle and opened the tonneau cover along with the tailgate. The animals were reportedly panting in a cage in the bed of the truck. Baltazar-Saucedo then let the dogs out of the cage and the complainant provided the animals water.

The report continued that at the time of the incident the national weather service indicated it was 82 degrees and the thermometer in the patrol vehicle indicated it was 90 degrees in the area. Deputy Ammons contacted animal control to conduct a welfare check on the animals as it was unknown how long the dogs were in the bed of the truck without fresh air and water.

The report concluded that Baltazar-Saucedo neglected the animals by locking them in the enclosed truck bed without fresh air or water. The animals were turned over to OCSO Animal Control Services, the Baltazar-Saucedo’s daughter was turned over to her sister, who arrived during the investigation. Baltazar-Saucedo was arrested, transported and booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on the aforementioned charges.

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