Beaten, Starved Dog Rescued, Owner Charged: Monroe County Deputies

A Florida Keys man is facing animal cruelty charges after authorities say he beat, starved and hung his pet dog by his leash.

David Anthony Gross, 51, was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony animal cruelty, causing an animal pain and suffering and failing to register as a convicted felon, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Gross remained behind bars Wednesday without bond, jail records showed. No attorney information was available.

Authorities said a deputy responded to City Marina in Marathon Tuesday evening to reports of a drunk man abusing his dog. Witnesses said Gross had picked up his dog, a Chihuahua mix named Batman, by his leash and was hanging him, bouncing him up and down and hitting him, officials said.

Gross was threatening to throw the dog in the water and kill him, and the dog was crying and choking as he was being abused, authorities said.

Animal Control officers responded and found Batman very thin, malnourished and with a right front leg that appeared to have been broken and not properly reset, authorities said. The officers took custody of Batman.

When deputies looked up Gross they discovered he is a convicted felon in Michigan and had failed to register in Monroe County.

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