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."


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.

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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