Lehigh Acres Woman Arrested for Aggravated Animal Cruelty


I am sickened by the fact that this dog was left outside in a prong collar,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “I cannot be more clear: Anyone who harms an animal in Lee County, whether intentional or by neglect, will go to jail.”

On Dec. 7, 2020, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force responded to the 500 Block of Wyoming Road in Lehigh Acres in reference to an animal at large.

Sgt. Najarro saw two dogs tethered in the backyard without shelter. One of the animals had on a prong collar and was tied to a tree.

During the course of the investigation, Najarro learned Carmen Melendez (DOB 8/16/1989) purchased a prong collar and placed it on her dog in an attempt to keep him from escaping the yard.

Melendez surrendered the animal to Lee County Domestic Animal Services.

Animal Services had difficulty removing the collar, as it had become embedded in the dog’s neck. The animal suffered from multiple puncture wounds.

The veterinarian who examined the dog determined the injuries were consistent with neglect and could have been prevented.

Due to the injuries the dog received, a warrant for Melendez’s arrest was issued on Dec. 15, 2020.

Deputies located Melendez yesterday and arrested her for aggravated animal cruelty. She was booked into the Lee County Jail.

KP/ 21-045191