SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. – South Daytona police are searching for a woman who they said abandoned her dog and cat inside a feces-covered apartment for days.
Authorities said neighbors, like Corrie Martinez, called Friday to complain about the woman's fire alarm going off, which sparked the animal neglect investigation.
The dog was removed from the home.
"He was so frail. He was real little. His face was just sunken in. You can tell he hadn't eaten. Hadn't been out, and his bark wasn't the same," Martinez said.
She said she heard the dog barking for a week and rarely saw the owner.
"When she popped in, it was always, 'I don't have my key, I don't have my key. Can you help me through the window?' That's what arose the question as to who's taking care of the dog," she said.
Officers searched the wrecked apartment off South Palmetto Avenue and rescued the mastiff that was barking upstairs, then returned to look for the cat, which they could not find. News 6 spotted the feline Tuesday afternoon and notified law enforcement, who returned to rescue the cat.
The property owner's employee told police the woman hasn't paid her rent and won't answer the phone. Officers tried calling the woman and her mother but to no avail. Meanwhile, neighbors are relieved the animals were rescued.
"If you don't want the dog, get rid of it. Give it to somebody who can take care of it, but you don't just leave the dog in the house by itself to die. It's like a child. You don't do that," Martinez said.
Police department officials said the woman will face charges of animal cruelty and abandoning or confining an animal without food or water.