Couple Arrested After Leaving Dogs At Home For Dead

Two dogs were found starving outside a Palm Bay home.
Two dogs were found starving outside a Palm Bay home. (Photo: Brevard County Sheriff's Office)

PALM BAY, Florida – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Palm Bay couple Wednesday after they allegedly abandoned their two dogs at a former home.

The dogs were underweight, malnourished, and a local veterinarian said it was one of the worst cases he’s ever seen.

“In terms of their body condition, they were about as bad as it gets,” said the shelter’s veterinarian, R.J. Edwards.

Daniel Puranda, 38, and Catherine Oyuela, 36, were charged with two counts of cruelty to an animal and unlawful abandonment. Purunda was held on a $21,000 bond. Oyuela was held on a $16,000 bond.

Investigators were called to the Palm Bay home to conduct a welfare check. Neighbors told authorities that the family hadn’t been seen for nearly a month.

The two animals were picked up by the Brevard County Animal Control and treated by the veterinarian. The couple allegedly left the property on or around Sept. 23 as authorities attempted to carry out a final eviction notice.

Records show the couple attempted to file a deed with the property appraiser’s office claiming an “adverse possession” of the home.

The couple told neighbors they were husband and wife. They kept the animals at their home in good condition.

Authorities say the two dogs are active and very affectionate. They have already gained weight, but officials say they are still being treated for several ailments.

“For these dogs to be running around and playing after just two weeks ago near death is incredible,” said the Sheriff’s shelter director Joe Hildebrand.

Both animals were placed in foster homes. Their new names are “Mowgli” and “Balloo” and are on the path to recovery.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.
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