Tallahassee Man Gets Prison Time for Dogfighting

By: Nate Harrington, Julie Montanaro, Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Nate Harrington, Julie Montanaro, Lanetra Bennett Email

Updated 9.19.2011 by Lanetra Bennett

A Leon County man twice busted on animal cruelty charges has been sentenced to prison time.

But, it's not enough in the eyes of some animal advocates.

Monday a judge sentenced 35-year-old Leslie Meyers to a year and a day in prison.

Animal advocates say he deserves more because he was charged twice with animal cruelty within a six-month span.

Leon County Executive Director Sonya White says, "It was a horrific situation. We would've liked to have seen more time."

On July 14, 2010, Meyers was arrested after Leon County Deputies took 26 pit bulls from his home at 4198 HJK Howard Road.

White says, "There were animals that were mauled. There were animals that were ripped apart. There were animals that were starving and emaciated, and these people have no concern for life, period, they don't. They're only doing the animal fighting and the dogfighting situations for pure profit."

Meyers denied everything when I stopped him as he was driving the house shortly after that arrest last year.

This is what he told me then: "Naw, there ain't no dogfighting going on at that residence."

Meyers was arrested again on January 13, 2011.

This time at 2496-B Southwood Plantation Road; and again, authorities took 26 pit bulls.

Brandon Tucker lives nearby. He says, "I'd actually turned in to come home, I saw two animal control officers at the end of the road. They said, we've got another case up here with HJK Howard. I was extremely shocked to hear that this has happened once again and also so close to home."

Detectives say the dogs didn't have food or water, and that they found dogfighting equipment.

Tucker says, "I think the sentence was a long-time coming. But, at the same time, it's not enough for the conditions that the dogs were housed in and the way that they were treated."

Leslie Meyers is also sentenced to two years probation. He is not allowed to own any dogs during that time.

White says, "I think these cases can really be prosecuted stronger with more cooperation between animal control officers, state attorney's office, and law enforcement."

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UPDATED 9.19.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee man twice arrested for animal cruelty is now headed to prison for it.

Court records show Leslie Meyers was scheduled to stand trial today. Yet prosecutors say he entered a plea this morning to 34 counts of felony animal cruelty. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison followed by two years of probation.

During that probationary period, Meyers will not be allowed to have any dogs.

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Leon County Animal Control responds to a complaint of barking dogs on the 2500 block of Southwood Plantation Road.

And what they found lead LCSO to arrest a man on animal cruelty charges.
And this is not the first time the same man has been arrested for identical charges.

Back in June, the Leon County Sheriff's Office arrested Leslie Meyers on 61 counts related to animal cruelty and dog fighting.
Last night 1/13 they took the same man into custody for almost identical charges.

This is video of Leslie Meyers from last summer, before he was arrested for animal cruelty and dog fighting.

He was out on bond when LCSO arrested him last night at this home on Southwood Plantation Road.

LCSO deputies charged him with 25 counts of animal cruelty, 26 counts of possession of animals for the purpose of fighting, and 4 counts of possession of equipment for use in animal fighting.

Charges Sergeant James McQuaig says law enforcement is not taking lightly.

Sergeant James McQuaig says, 'We had no knowledge of this new location. We consider these cases a high priority. And we are continuing to aggressively pursue these types of cases."

Authorities say they discovered 25 pit bull dogs living in individual crates.

The animals had no food or water, and were not protected from sub freezing temperatures.

In addition, Meyers possessed strength training equipment and other tools used to promote aggressiveness in dogs.

Richard Zeigler says, "Several of the animals has sores on their bodies. Some had lacerations, a lot of them had bite wounds on their bodies. Several of the wounds look like they are consistent with dog fighting."

Some of the dogs that were taken are at a local veterinarian receiving care for their injuries.

The others are being cared for at the Leon County Animal Shelter.

None of the dogs have life-threatening injuries.


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  • by Mary Degon -Pelletier on Sep 21, 2011 at 01:02 PM
    This sentence has no bite to it! Pun intended! The dogs were subjected to inhumane abuse, neglect and horrendous acts of cruelty! This person was tried and convicted TWICE of animal abuse stemming from Dog fighting. He deserves no better treatment than those poor dogs were given. They suffered untold injuries and left to survive or die on their own- no food, no water, no shelter! This is outrageous that all he received was 1 year & 1 day! Correct me if I am wrong but Dog Fighting is a FEDERAL OFFENSE....federal offenses don't carry a stiffer penalty than 1 year 1day? Please - Reconsider the punishment for such acts of cruelty to those that have no voice! I am a dog owner & I could never understand how someone could abuse the unconditional love & loyalty of these dogs -never mind Pit Bull dogs who are the most loyal & loving of breeds out there!
  • by Tom on Sep 19, 2011 at 06:17 PM
    This coward won't fight himself, but has no problem watching other creatures suffer. Scum. There isn't a serial murder in history who didn't enjoy watching animals suffer, put this piece of trash to death.
  • by Mike Location: Taly on Sep 19, 2011 at 05:57 PM
    No prison time...he ought to be cahained to a fence and let dogs gnaw on him till he dies.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 19, 2011 at 05:48 PM
    You will rot. just like Michael Vick rots. There are things that you cannot do enough penance for. Torture is one of those things. Hope your Boyfriend teaches you how to be an obedient little B**** in prison. Have fun you terrorist.
  • by LegalWatcher Location: TLH on Sep 19, 2011 at 02:44 PM
    Good. Now he will be a prison release reoffender when he comes out and does the same thing yet another time. Welcome to the big house.
  • by Ricky Location: Havana on Sep 19, 2011 at 02:36 PM
    Dogs are property, just like women. Prison time for this is absurd.
    • reply
      by Steve Not in Marietta on Sep 19, 2011 at 03:19 PM in reply to Ricky
      Don't be a dumba** you 'tard! What is wrong with you? That's just sick and wrong! Go take a Valium, go call your pastor, and tell him you are 'hearing the voices again,' or that you are just a punk with a bad attitude. Thanx.
    • reply
      by Mike on Sep 19, 2011 at 05:57 PM in reply to Ricky
      yea rick...put down that bud light.
    • reply
      by Tom on Sep 19, 2011 at 06:48 PM in reply to Ricky
      So who do you belong to, Ricki?
    • reply
      by LegalWatcher on Sep 20, 2011 at 06:48 AM in reply to Ricky
      Dogs are property. However, just like when you let too much junk accumulate in your front yard, the government can step in and regulate how you treat your property. As for women, I'm sure any woman you try that line on will "regulate" you.
  • by Thomas Location: TAlly on Sep 19, 2011 at 02:35 PM
    this is stupid. This same person could get a child hook on drugs and continue to get probation. A drug habit is a slow painful, expensive death. A dog is a dog, an animal, not a human yet he gets 366 days. Only in america is an animal placed ahead of a human.
    • reply
      by Mary on Sep 20, 2011 at 05:13 AM in reply to Thomas
      I agree with you that other offenders should also get more time. I have seen some get years for simple marijuana possession and others that did harm to a child get 7 months - makes no sense, however - 1yr isn't close to enough time for this offender. Keep in mind this was his second offense and both included horrific torture to 25 to 26 dogs that's at least 50 animals. 50 animals that lived in fear, insufficient water and food and then forced to fight. The suffering these poor animals undergo is far more than any human could endure. Have you ever witnessed the brutality of dog-fighting? Dogs ripped to shreds while others stand and cheer! Absolutely disgusting and barbaric. If this sicko doesn't mind watching these innocent animals suffer and be ripped apart, much less giving them proper food and water, what do you think he is capable of doing to a human? Possible rape, kidnapping, torture, etc. Yeah, it may not ever happen, but would you want to give him a slap on the wrist with only one year just to find out people are next? All life deserves to be treated as precious, until you cross the lines and start brutally treating others (both human and animal alike) - then I think you should suffer a long torturous death and rot in hell to avenge all those you did harm to.
  • by PrezNixon on Sep 19, 2011 at 01:05 PM
    This guy did not get near enough time for his crimes.
  • by Paul on Sep 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM
    I think things will be OK. After release he will be watched. Did you know they did this with slaves in the old South ? Had them fight for fun. Bet on the fights and had a grand ole time. Sometimes the fighters died. No big deal. They were just slaves. Now it's dogs. No big deal. They are just dogs. (NOT)
  • by marie Location: tallahassee on Sep 19, 2011 at 12:29 PM
    its a shame the court would not give him the maximun sentence for animal cruelty and dog fighting. He its not a hunter, this is ganbling with the dogs. If you play poker they put you in jail for gambling ;. if its a everyday thing. The judge should take a look at the dogs, they are the one who are sufering
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