DOCUMENT: Animals, Florida, Crime

Even A Dumbbell Can't Keep A Good Dog Down

Animal cruelty charge for man who tied pooch in river


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Blackie The Dog

APRIL 26--A Florida man was arrested yesterday after taking a dog named Blackie out for an evening swim--except the pooch was anchored in four feet of water by a 30-pound dumbbell to which the animal was tethered by a rope around its neck, police charge.

William Bell, 41, allegedly took the two-year-old pit bull mix with him when he went to a boat ramp on the Manatee River to do some fishing. That is where Bell “tied his dog to a 30lb dumb bell and walked it into the water that was about 4 feet deep,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Bell then “set the weight in the water and left the dog to swim,” according to Palmetto Police Department Officer Micah Mathews, who added that the animal “was unable to touch the ground and was not able to move the weight.” Blackie, seen above, was literally left to doggy paddle for his life.

Bell, pictured in the below mug shot, would later tell cops that he put the dog in the water so that it would get some “exercise.”

When Officer Mathews arrived at the boat ramp, he could “only see the nose of the dog out of the water.” Bell claimed Blackie had been “swimming in place for fifteen minutes.”

Mathews reported that he asked Bell if he “would like to be anchored and left to either swim or die.” The suspect responded, “Hell no."

Bell, charged with felony animal cruelty, was released from the Manatee County Jail early this morning after posting $1000 bond. Blackie, who was placed last night in the custody of the county’s animal services division, was released today to Bell’s cousin, the dog’s owner. (1 page)

Comments (18)

Poor Blackie does not have a chance. I'm sure the guy was doing it for the owner. I can't believe they returned the poor boy to them. I'll take him if they have a problem finding him a home. Those folks are really dumbasses
He calls the dog "Blackie".....hmmmmm....gotta wonder what the dog calls HIM after being weighted down and left to die.
Oh....this story is about a dog. I was expecting to see Gary Coleman.
Yeah, he was giving the dog 'exercise' alright. This is the kind of stuff dog fighters do to dogs to make them stronger, along with tying them up outside with thick, heavy chains they have to carry around in order to move. Giving the dog back to the cousin was a terrible idea; I have no doubt he knew exactly what this guy was going to do to the dog.
Ah, Dumb-Bell...duh! Took me a while.
and you admitted it because.....
I lose a little more faith in people each day. Soon there will be none left.
They should be made to endure the same type of suffering they bestowed upon the animal!! BURN IN HELL to the people that could even "think" of putting an innocent animal through such torture! Once again my "people suck" mantra rings through my head. There are far too many ***ed up people than there are good people in this ***ed up world!!
If a movie were to ever be made about this, Tracey Morgan should play the part of William Bell (except it wouldn't be a comedy, of course). I'd change the ending to having the dog chew through the rope and then chew through Bell's throat.
Hey, it's Michael Vick's cousin!
That cop should have taken his butt out to see if he could tread water for 15 minutes attached to a weight."Just for exercise" not for punishment or anything.What a jerk.
they should of handed that piece of shiat over to the bull queers for some fun and games
What a demented retarded idiotic moron. Literally I would love it if this jackass didn't exist,had never been born etc. My contempt knows no bounds. Depraved and demented, power hungry, control freaks like this jackass truly deserve to be caned. Send him to Singapore I say!!!!
Florida... check.
The Manatee County Court should have at least 50 court appointed compliance officers armed with metal baseball bats and require this defendant to walk between officers as they bring this misguided individual into being a more compassionate person or a more sensitive person.
Please someone tell me why they would return this dog to the owner??? Obviously the crazy man that tied him to the dumbell got him from the owner to begin with. Whose to say that the owner wont give him to him again "to get exercise?" In the pic the poor dog looks scared to death. My guess is they are probably abusing the dog. Pitbulls get such a bad rap from everyone. SCUM fight them, neglect them, torture them, starve them, and beat them. Everyone else wonders why these dogs retaliate....gee I wonder.....
Thank goodness the dog wasn't named whitey or this comments section would have been busy. This guy is a piece of trash. I would like to Gitmo his arse.
" Blackie, who was placed last night in the custody of the county’s animal services division, was released today to Bell’s cousin, the dog’s owner." I am a dog owner & dog lover. I firmly believe that ANYone who willfully commits ANY type of cruelty to an animal absolutely deserves to have the same done to him/herself in kind. No questions, just consequences. IF survival happens, lock the person away in an animal cage, in a cold basement, of a deserted house, in a known drughood of a large metropolitan area. Mebbe w/ a bowl of water drawn from a nearby river, & a bag of government cheese! Oh, & throw some sweet sticky stuff on him/her 1st, to attract vermin. If it sounds like I'm getting in over my head w/ vengeance, what do you think was happening w/ the dog???