Woman arrested for allowing animals to die of thirst

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A 35-year-old woman was arrested in Sarasota and charged with animal cruelty in connection with an awful crime she allegedly committed in 2018, officials said. 

Sarah Wilson lived with two Chihuahuas and a cat at the Champions Walk Apartments in Bradenton last year. On Jan. 16, 2018, a maintenance supervisor entered her apartment to do some repairs. The supervisor noted a room was filthy with urine and feces and observed the animals had no water. He also said it looked like the apartment had been vacated.

The supervisor provided water for the animals. The front office was notified and contacted Wilson by e-mail. Wilson replied the same day and said a caretaker had left them out of their cage but they were being cared for.

On Jan. 31, 2018, a notice was posted on the apartment door by management in reference to nonpayment of rent.

On Feb. 26, 2018, staff entered the apartment again to inquire about the nonpayment. A staffer found a dog’s body in the bedroom and noticed the animals’ water dishes were empty. Manatee County Animal Services responded and found a dead black cat behind the headboard of the bed. A maintenance worker later found the other dog dead in a bedroom closet under some blankets.

On Feb. 28, the manager of the apartment complex contacted Wilson by e-mail. Wilson responded, saying she was no longer living there, but still had a few more items to retrieve from the apartment, including her dogs.

When she was told the animals were dead, she wrote back, saying that they likely died from flea medication.

A veterinarian examined the animals and determined they died from dehydration and said they were likely dead two to three weeks before they were discovered.

Wilson was arrested in Sarasota and booked into the county jail. She was released on a $3,000 bond. 

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