Death investigation leads to malnourished dogs being seized from filthy home, police say

Owner faces animal cruelty charges

Jennifer Hill (Brevard County Jail)

PALM BAY, Fla. – Three malnourished dogs were seized from a filthy home as officers were investigating a death that occurred at the residence, according to the Palm Bay Police Department.

Officers said they were called to the home on Vantage Street on Nov. 21 because a man who lived there died and while they were on scene, they noticed the dogs were skinny and appeared to be malnourished.

The dog’s owner, Jennifer Hill, said the dogs were fed and given water regularly, although none was available to the canines while police were at the home, according to the affidavit.

She also said her roommate, who had just died, would abuse the dogs by hitting them with his cane, records show.

Police said the home smelled of urine, the floor was covered in feces and there was only one dog bowl on the floor that had a scant amount of water in it.

Hill said her dogs Popcorn, Scooby and Ruffles were fed throughout the day and were only skinny because they had fleas. She also claimed she kept in contact with someone from Brevard County Animal Services about the dogs’ care but records show that wasn’t the case.

The dogs were seized and taken to Brevard County Animal Services to receive care.

A veterinarian determined all three dogs suffered “unnecessary pain and suffering due to malnutrition, marked starvation and muscle wasting,” according to the report. Popcorn, Scooby and Ruffles were also diagnosed with skin conditions and parasites, records show.

Each dog gained weight after receiving care, but the veterinarian noted that all three likely would have died within months if it weren’t for the medical intervention.

Hill was arrested Tuesday on three counts of animal cruelty.

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