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Brutal Animal Abandonment in Lakeland Sparks Urgent Investigation

In a distressing turn of events that has left the Lakeland community both saddened and outraged, the Polk County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a heartless act of animal abandonment. The incident, which unfolded in broad daylight on the streets of Lakeland, has sparked a fervent appeal for witnesses and information that could lead to the identification and apprehension of those responsible.

On the afternoon of February 6th, around 1:30 pm, a witness reported a shocking scene on the corner of W. Greenwood St. & Southern Ave. According to the account, the driver of a red and black SUV heartlessly stopped the vehicle, released a male Maltese mix dog onto the road, and then sped off, leaving the bewildered animal to fend for itself.

The witness's quick thinking led to the capture of the vehicle's image, now circulating in hopes of tracking down the heartless individuals. Described as two black females, their identities remain a mystery, prompting the Polk County Sheriff's Office to reach out to the public for any leads.

The dog, affectionately referred to as a "good boy" in the sheriff's appeal, is a stark reminder of the ongoing issue of animal abandonment and cruelty plaguing communities nationwide. Despite the traumatic ordeal, the Maltese mix is safe and awaiting a chance at a new, loving home, thanks to the efforts of local animal welfare organizations.

Deputy Caldwell, leading the investigation, urges anyone with information about the SUV's occupants or any details that might aid in their identification to come forward. "Acts of cruelty and abandonment against animals are unconscionable and will not be tolerated," Caldwell stated, emphasizing the seriousness with which the Polk County Sheriff's Office is treating the case.

For those wishing to remain anonymous, the Heartland Crime Stoppers offers a confidential tip line and digital platforms to report any information related to the case. The community's cooperation is crucial in ensuring those responsible for such a callous act are held accountable, and to prevent future incidents of animal cruelty and abandonment.

As the search for the individuals continues, the Lakeland community is reminded of the importance of vigilance, compassion, and the collective responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us, including our four-legged friends.



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