Dogs ate chips of wood, feces, plastic as owner starved them to death, sheriff says

Owner arrested on animal cruelty charges

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – The Brevard County sheriff walked a man into jail Wednesday morning after an animal cruelty investigation showed the owner starved his dogs to death.

David Fritsch Jr., 33, is accused of locking two dogs in a master bedroom of a home in the Canaveral Groves area and refusing to feed them.

“He literally starved them to death over a period of several weeks,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey said during a Facebook live stream. “Folks, this is just the worst absolute case of animal cruelty I’ve ever seen in my 40 years as a cop.”

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The investigation started in mid-January when the Brevard County Animal Services team receive a call about abandoned canines in a home, according to the agency.

The sheriff said a necropsy revealed the dogs had chips of wood from furniture, plastic bottles, band aids and even a plastic bag in their stomachs.

“These poor animals were literally eating furniture and their own feces trying desperately to stay alive,” Ivey said. “And the guy did nothing to give them food, to give them water, to help them in any capacity.”

Posted by Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida (Official) on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Medical records show the dogs’ cause of death was starvation, according to an arrest report. The dogs also suffered severe malnutrition and a gross loss of muscle, resulting in a cruel death, investigation records show.

“You know, I don’t know how many times I have to say it: If you harm an animal in Brevard County, I’m personally going to walk you into our jail and slam the door in your face,” Ivey said.

As the sheriff walked Fritsch into the jail, Fritsch is overheard saying, “You don’t know the whole story.”

The sheriff dismissed Fritsch claims saying that innocent animals suffered under his care. An arrest report notes Fritsch also admitted to not feeding the dogs.

Authorities said due to Fritsch failure to act he caused the dogs to endure excessive and unnecessary pain resulting in a painful and inhumane death.

Fritsch is now behind bars being held on $8,000 bond. He’s facing two counts of a felony animal cruelty charge.

“I guess you didn’t get the memo about don’t hurt animals,” Ivey said.

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