Estero man arrested for leaving 12 dogs locked in a camper


FORT MYERS, Fla. – An Estero man faces a dozen Animal Cruelty charges for leaving 12 dogs locked in a camper at a Fort Myers rest stop off Daniels Parkway. Jose Carmen Rodriguez was booked into the Lee County Jail Wednesday night.

Just before 6 pm, a Good Samaritan called 911 when they heard whimpering from inside Jose Rodriguez’s camper.

A Florida Highway Patrol station at the rest stop dispersed a K-9 unit and Lee County Animal Services to the camper. As troopers were about to break into the locked trailer, FHP said Rodriguez showed up and unlocked the door.

Officials said ten dogs and two puppies were inside panting. “What those troopers saw on the inside was terrible. There was a lot of feces. It was a mess. Very little water. Very little food,” said Senior FHP Trooper Kenn Watson.

Animal Services believe the inside temperature was 114.5 degrees. He said, “…they were probably left alone for less than an hour. Anything more than that, they probably would have succumbed to the heat.”

All 12 dogs survived and were transported to LCDAS, where they remain. The owner of the camper, Joe Carmon Rodriguez, was arrested.

“He felt strongly about the dogs but yet didn’t seem to understand that what he did was not only illegal but morally a terrible thing to do,” Watson said. “He perhaps could have been more cooperative. Did not like the fact that he was not only losing his dogs but that he would be charged as well.”


NBC2 asked LCDAS for photos of the dogs. A spokesperson advised the investigation is still active.

Tags: Animal crueltydogs locked in camperFlorida Highway Patrol


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