Owner of Thin Dog Whose Photo Went Viral Arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police After Animal Activists Turn Up Warrants

Officials found no signs that Duchess was neglected or abused, but D'Anthony Davis was arrested on several warrants from Polk County, police said

A man who was under scrutiny for his rail-thin dog this week was arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police Thursday – but the charges have nothing to do with his pet.

D'Anthony Davis, 23, was arrested on outstanding warrants out of Polk County after the animal rights group that focused attention on his Doberman Pinscher found the warrants and gave them to Fort Lauderdale Police.

The pet’s other owner, Sherene Walker, 22 – who police identified as Davis’ girlfriend – was also arrested Thursday on charges unrelated to the dog, according to her arrest affidavit. The dog, which is named Duchess, has been temporarily turned over to animal control.

A photo of Duchess that was posted on Facebook by 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida went viral earlier this week, leading group members to demonstrate outside Davis and Walker’s home on the 1600 block of Northeast 17th Ave. on Tuesday. They said the dog was emaciated and tethered at the house.

Police detectives and a Broward County Animal Control specialist investigated their claims Wednesday morning and found no signs of neglect or abuse, police said. They found the dog untethered in the backyard. Animal control said the dog was underweight because of hookworm, but otherwise did not appear to be in poor health.

Outraged by the police response, the animal rights group did a little digging.

"We had spent all night, Carol and I and a few other wonderful people, researching,” said Amy Roman, the president and founder of 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida.

She said they found out that there were warrants for Davis’ arrest in Polk County and gave the information to detectives. He was wanted on several warrants on charges including resisting an officer without violence and trespassing, according to Fort Lauderdale Police.

Davis was also given new charges of resisting an officer without violence because he pulled away from police, and with violating a domestic violence injunction order because he was staying at the home with Walker, his arrest affidavit said.

Walker faces charges of disorderly conduct, resisting an officer without violence, contributing to the delinquency of a child and aggravated child abuse for her actions at the home Thursday, police said in her arrest affidavit. She said she did not know Davis’ whereabouts and said she was alone in the home, though he was found inside a bedroom, police said. When police began to walk towards the bedroom Walker pushed an officer, while holding her daughter who is less than one year old in her arm, and several times she used the child to block the officers’ path by turning the child toward them, the affidavit said.

The child has been taken into the custody of the Department of Children and Families, police said. Duchess has been temporarily turned over to animal control. It wasn’t immediately known whether Davis or Walker have attorneys.

Davis said Wednesday that the whole ordeal involving Duchess was a misunderstanding.

"I take care of my dog," he said. "I had dogs all my life. My parents taught me to take care of stuff I have ... I wouldn't neglect the dog, because I think that's unfair to the dog."

But Roman said of their arrests, “It just shows their character, it is related, it’s character of who they are. They can say it’s unrelated all they want.”

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