LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — A 54-year-old Lake Worth Beach woman is facing nine felony charges after leaving three dogs in her car and then disposing of their bodies, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said Monday.
On Saturday, Tammy Garceau of Lake Worth was pet sitting the dogs that she initially admitted to leaving in a hot car, according to an arrest report by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
At first, Garceau said she wasn’t clear about what happened with the dogs after leaving them in the car.
“The initial story was that she was pet sitting, and she left the dogs in the car to go in her house to retrieve something and came out, and the dogs were missing," neighbor Cleo Hernandez said. "She said somebody stole them.”
According to the arrest report, not only was that not true, but Garceau went the next step to dump the bodies of the dogs in two locations.
Despite that, people in the community say she’s not a bad person.
“I don’t think she’s a bad person,” Hernandez said. “I think she has addiction issues and she just needs somebody to get here on the right path and hopefully this is a wake-up call to her.”
Garceau was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Saturday night on three counts of animal cruelty, unlawful abandonment and unlawful disposal of bodies. She was released the following afternoon in lieu of $9,000 bond.
The state attorney's office is expected to file charges in this case early September.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg said the allegations in this case are disturbing and heartbreaking. He added he would like to see the Florida Legislature make it easier to send violators to prison.
This is the full statement from Aronberg:
“The allegations in this case are disturbing and heartbreaking, but since this is pending I am unable to comment further. As State Attorney and an animal lover, I’ve made it a priority that animal cruelty will not be tolerated in Palm Beach County. We prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, but the law itself need to be strengthened. Felony animal cruelty cases rarely result in jail or prison time. I would like to see the Florida legislature make it easier to send these violators to prison."