Natalie Summer Lesesne, 31, of 1110 N.E. 24th Terrace, was arrested at 12:39 a.m. Tuesday on a charge of cruelty to an animal.
The case against Lesesne began in December when Alachua County Animal Services got a report of a dog tied up outside Lesesne's home that was exceptionally skinny. Animal services officers found a black female pit bull mix lying curled up in a ball on the ground and unresponsive. The dog - who was named Holly by county staff - had a flea infestation, internal parasites and anemia. Her condition was considered critical by the agency.
The dog was immediately taken to the county's staff veterinarian, Dr. Randy Caligiuri, who concluded Holly needed "euthanasia or immediate blood transfusion."
David R. Flagler, director of Alachua County Animal Services, told The Sun: "Holly was one of the worst cases of starvation that we have witnessed."
Among Holly's living conditions documented by Animal Services was a "battered wooden dog house with a hole in the roof," two empty food bowls and an empty dog food bag, and two water buckets inside the dog house - one empty and on its side and the other "had a small amount of green algae water with leaves," in it. Holly was chained to a tangled metal chain that was four to five feet long.
Animal investigator Lin Santerfeit noted in a report on the conditions that Lesesne told animal investigators that she is responsible for the dog while her husband was incarcerated.
Assistant State Attorney Geoffrey C. Fleck filed an information - a document charging Lesesne with animal cruelty - on Jan. 12.
Holly survived and underwent weeks of rehabilitation at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been adopted by Katrina Ciccarilla and now lives near Newnan's Lake.