Angela Faith Cirullo

Angela Faith Cirullo

A Hernando woman’s puppy mill operation was disrupted when the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office charged her with causing cruel pain and suffering to one of her dogs, a third degree felony.

Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Angela Faith Cirullo, 37, Monday after a sheriff’s deputy determined she had grossly mistreated her male French bulldog, Syndicate, leaving him underfed, nearly hairless, with skin sores and open wounds.

The origins of the arrest began when a Citrus County Sheriff’s deputy met with a Citrus County Animal Control Services officer over the neglect of Syndicate and eight French bulldog puppies belonging to Cirullo, according to Citrus County Court arrest records.

The deputy reported that the animal control officer showed him photographs he had taken a week before of the eight puppies left outside in kennels with temperatures of 93 degrees and with a heat index of 104 degrees. The animal control officer told the deputy the puppies appeared dehydrated, with no food or water.

“He advised they were barely moving around,” the deputy wrote in his arrest report.

The animal control officer then showed the deputy pictures of Syndicate and told the deputy he took all the dogs from Cirullo and took Syndicate to the county shelter for veterinary care because his condition was so poor.

The animal control officer told the deputy that Cirullo told him she had already spoken on the telephone with a local veterinarian about Syndicate’s care and had started treatment. But when the animal control officer contacted the veterinarian, the veterinarian said Cirullo never brought in Syndicate for care nor would he recommend treatment based on a telephone conversation and without seeing the animal. The deputy confirmed the veterinarian’s conversation with the animal control officer, according to arrest records.

The county’s shelter veterinarian told the investigating deputy that Syndicate was underweight, “had a severe skin infection” with abscesses. “This caused Syndicate to have constant and excessive pain,” the deputy reported the second veterinarian telling him.

The veterinarian also said that the dog’s neglect could have been going on for several months, according to the arrest report.

Cirullo also did not have a breeder’s license. She claimed that she left water for the puppies but they sometimes knocked over their water bowl, according to arrest documents. She also admitted she saw that Syndicate was sick and was getting worse and took responsibility for the neglect, according to records.

The deputy arrested Cirullo for animal cruelty and took her to the Citrus County Jail. Her bond was set at $500.

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.

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