Man Arrested for Aggravated Animal Cruelty After Dumping Dog in Dumpster

by Lisa
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In a disturbing incident, a 55-year-old man, Anthony Bellman, was arrested on Monday for allegedly dumping his neighbor’s 16-year-old Shih Tzu into a dumpster, according to the announcement made by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno at a press conference. Bellman now faces charges of aggravated animal cruelty.

The incident came to light on December 14 when employees at a Family Dollar in Lehigh Acres, Florida, discovered a moving trash bag inside a dumpster. Upon investigation, they found a Shih Tzu named Xyla inside the bag with a rope around her neck, prompting them to rush Xyla to a local pet hospital for evaluation. Simultaneously, the employees reported the incident to the police, citing “intentional abuse.”


Detectives and officials from the county’s Animal Cruelty Task Force swiftly responded to the call and uncovered surveillance footage revealing Bellman’s actions. The video depicted him taking a black trash bag from his trunk and callously tossing it into the dumpster from several feet away before driving off.


Lee County Sheriff Marceno, visibly disturbed by the footage, stated, “This sickens me. You can see in this video that he has zero regard for Xyla. No living thing deserves to be discarded like common trash.” He emphasized that the video played a crucial role in the detectives’ intensified efforts to locate the suspect.


During the investigation, detectives discovered that Xyla was micro-chipped, leading them to her original owners who had unfortunately passed away. The suspect’s vehicle was traced to a nearby residence, and upon knocking on the door, Bellman, wearing the same clothing as seen in the footage, was taken in for questioning.


Detectives learned that Bellman had informed his family that he was taking Xyla to the Humane Society to be euthanized. As a result of the arrest, if convicted, Bellman will be listed on the county’s Animal Abuse registry.

Sheriff Marceno emphasized the severity of the situation, stating, “Hospital examinations determined that Xyla was on her way to a painful death. If she had not been discovered, her last moments would have been like drowning from the inside out.”

Xyla is currently in recovery, and officials from Lee County Domestic Animal Services are collaborating with the State Attorney’s office to secure a loving home for her.


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