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Palm Coast Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge in Death of a Dog Left to Perish in a Storm

| June 30, 2014

Bryan Leonard.

Bryan Leonard.

Bryan Leonard, a 25-year-old Palm Coast resident who’s been at the Flagler County jail on drug and probation-violation charges since May, was additionally charged with a felony count of cruelty to animals and a count of unlawfully disposing of carcass.

The Flagler County Sheriff added the charges on Wednesday (June 25), in a case that dates back to May, when a pit bull Leonard was in charge of was discovered dead, bloated and leashed on an island in the Intracoastal Waterway. The pit bull, called Roscoe, belonged to Marcus Good, a Palm Coast resident who’d been incarcerated at the county jail, and had placed Leonard in charge of the dog. The dog was scared of storms, and was apparently left leashed and alone during a violent storm, causing Roscoe to try to free himself, and choke to death instead.

A local resident who had been exploring the island, across from, Bings Landing in the Hammock, the morning of May 20 called 911 to report the find of the dead dog. The resident was concerned “that the dog had been abused and left there to die,” according to an incident report filed by the Sheriff’s Office.

“After landing on the island,” a deputy reported, “I observed what appeared to be a vacant camp site. As we traveled further up onto the island, we observed more abandon camp sites. [The witness] showed us the location of the dog which was located behind one of the camp sites. It appeared that the dog had been there for more than a day as it was already bloated. It was a brown in color bull dog. It appeared to have a choker chain around its neck and a leashed tied to it. The end of the leash was wrapped around some broken brush. It appears that the dog may have tried to get itself loose and strangled itself in the process but this is not

Marcus Good

Marcus Good

Animal Control Officer Scott Christopher was called in and interviewed Good, the owner of the dog, at the jail. (Good is facing charges of battery on a person older than 65, driving on a suspended license, marijuana possession and selling a prescription drug.) Good told Christopher that hye’d bought the pit bull for $600 from a kennel and had left the dog in “Bryan”‘s care, though he knew neither Leonard’s last name nor his address in Palm Coast.

As it turned out, a few days later, on May 29, Leonard, of 6 Prairie Lane in palm Coast, was himself jailed on charges of marijuana possession and probation violation. It was his fifth jail booking since 2012. (He’s faced charges of driving on a suspended license, drunk driving, probation violation, and battery domestic violence.)

Christopher and a deputy interviewed Leonard at the jail on June 3. Leonard said he’d been caring for the dog for approximately six months, and was responsible for it while Good was in jail. Leonard and some friends went camping on the island and tied the dog to a long leash with a choker chain collar. The first night, Leonard said–according to the incident report–a storm broke out and the dog got scared, so Leonard brought him into the tent until the storm passed. Over the following days of camping, Leonard said he left the dog on the island several times, tied up by it-self for hours at a time, as he and his friends went for food and beer.

On the last day, Leonard told the deputy and the animal control officer, he and his friends started packing up and made several trips, leaving the dog behind each time until the last trip, when they were planning on bringing him along. But when Leonard prepared to make that last trip, he said he started to storm again. He waited it out. Two hours later, when he went back to the island, Roscoe was dead.

Leonard, according to the incident report, “stated that it look like Roscoe twisted his choker collar tight around his neck and strangled himself. Bryan stated that he did the best he could to cover the dog up and was going to go back and bury him but never did. It should be noted that there did not appear to be any evidence that anyone tried to cover the dog up with anything. Bryan did state that he dragged the dead dog from where he had him tied up to the area next to the marsh where we found him. He stated that he did this to keep the dog out of the sun.”

Last Wednesday, based on the information obtained through the sheriff’s investigation, Christopher signed charges against Leonard for animal neglect because, the incident report states, “he knew the dog was scared of thunder storms and left him there alone with no shelter and improper disposal of animal carcass because he did not bury the dog, instead he just left it there.”

Under Florida law, “It is unlawful to dispose of the carcass of any domestic animal by dumping such carcass on any public road or right-of-way, or in any place where such carcass can be devoured by beast or bird.”

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15 Responses for “Palm Coast Man Faces Animal Cruelty Charge in Death of a Dog Left to Perish in a Storm”

  1. Watching says:

    Seems there is a moral decay happening in the younger generation today. Actually, its past a moral decay, its more on the lines of moral insanity .

  2. I don't know what to say. says:


  3. Binkey says:

    Who smiles for a mugshot? Someone who thinks there will be no real punishment.

  4. A.S.F. says:

    Bryan Leonard admitted to leaving the dog alone for “hours” to go “for food and beer.” Given his history of legal charges and probation violations, is he allowed to be drinking alcohol or is it part of his probation to abstain from the use of alcohol (and other unprescribed substances?) I hope someone is looking into this question.

  5. Outsider says:

    This is a perfect example of the type of treatment these dogs get at the hands of druggies which leads to them mauling some person down the road, and exactly why I’m against these rescues trying to save them. While I don’t agree with the methodology, the outcome is probably best for everyone.

  6. Dogman says:

    I love my pets and would do everything in my power to take care of them. I’m not these guys and they’re not me but if they really wanted to do harm to that dog the could have done a lot worse. Not making excuses for them but it seems like a sad case of adults who can’t take care of themselves let alone an animal. Sad story.

  7. Boomer says:

    our country is getting more evil as each day passes…..they need to bring back corporal punishment in the homes and straighten out the knuckle heads that have taken over our space.

  8. Seminole Pride says:

    Once again it’s the person who have the dogs, not the dog. Some people are not fit to own a dog.

  9. Mack says:

    “The dog was scared of storms, and was apparently left leashed and alone during a violent storm, causing Roscoe to try to free himself, and choke to death instead.”

    ^ That turns my stomach. I have a pitbull myself and she would have done the exact same thing. Last severe storm we had she dove under my desk and shook violently. I moved to work on my couch and she crawled up so tight next to me I sweat through that side of my shirt.

    In case there are still people ignorant about the breed, pitbulls are nanny dogs that take being near/care of their owner seriously and, 95% of the time, non-threateningly. On the flip side of that coin, an owner that neglects a pitbull will find itself with a very sad, broken dog (one of the only dogs I’ve seen that can reflect emotion so well). Even as I write this, my pitbull has her head on one of my feet, waiting for me to finish.

    While I hope this guy gets what he deserves, remember that it is *always* the owner’s fault – whether they trained the dog to be that way or got themselves in too deep with a dog they are unable to handle.

  10. Joe says:

    Note to self: Don’t buy a stupid/retarded dog that will choke itself to death in a storm or in any situation for that matter. Poor guy gets charged for owning a dumb dog while there are real criminals out there roaming the streets. Pretty F’d up society we live in.

    • Geezer, Mr. Wonderful says:

      Why not simply create a note to yourself on a post-it note?

      • A.S.F. says:

        Mr. (wonderful) Geezer–Because if the storm don’t wash off the ink on the post-it, you might just be too blind drunk to read it anyway!

  11. confidential says:

    This news of such a cruelty broke my heart for this pit bull.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why would someone leave their dog with someone they don’t even know?

  13. Anonymous says:

    This town is disgusting.

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