PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Port St. Lucie man is facing an animal cruelty charge after his dog was found so emaciated that the animal's rib and hip bones were "easily visible" and had "very little muscle mass," police said.
Timothy Sickel was arrested Friday, more than three months after his boxer was found locked in a kennel without food or water.
Sgt. Keith Boham said officers were called to the home on Sept. 3 after the owner noticed her tenant's emaciated 2-year-old boxer named Rocky in a cage with no dog food or water bowl.
The homeowner, who was also Rocky's veterinarian, told police that the dog "appeared extremely malnourished and emaciated."
Several attempts were made to contact Sickel before Rocky was taken to the Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County for treatment.
Eventually, Sickel got back to police, saying he believed Rocky was experiencing separation anxiety from another dog that moved away.
Sickel told police that he "regularly feeds the dog, but it did not seem to gain any weight."
Veterinarians said Rocky weighed 40 pounds upon arrival, but Boham said the dog now weighs 16 pounds more than he did in September.