YEAR END: Airman arrested on two counts of cruelty to animals – News – Northwest Florida Daily News

The Panhandle Animal Welfare Society began investigating Ward in July when an emergency veterinary clinic reported having to euthanize a badly malnourished dog named Hercules.

Anthony Matthew Ward was charged in early December with felony cruelty to animals after he allowed a dog in his care to die of malnutrition.

A second count of cruelty to animals, this charge a misdemeanor, was filed when a second dog in poor condition was rescued.

The account of Ward’s arrest was among the most viewed Northwest Florida Daily News stories of 2019.

The Panhandle Animal Welfare Society began investigating Ward in July when an emergency veterinary clinic reported having to euthanize a badly malnourished dog named Hercules.

PAWS received a second call about a badly treated canine in Ward’s care two days after Hercules was put down, according to agency investigator Andrea David.

The second dog, a shepherd-pit bull mix named Roscoe, weight 27 pounds at 8 months old, David said. He has since grown to 60 pounds.

Following his arrest, Ward underwent a mental health evaluation. If he is convicted of the animal abuse charges the active duty Hurlburt Field airman could face up to five years in prison on the felony charge and an additional year on the misdemeanor.

His trial is scheduled for March 9.

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