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Woman strangled dog to death so no one else could have her

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What began as "hopeful" for an abandoned Florida dog named Diamond, ended tragically, the dog strangled to death by the woman who adopted her January, 2013. A press release from the Sarasota County Sheriff's office this Tuesday explained the unthinkable animal cruelty crime, announcing the arrest of Shelley Bezanson, 28, of Osprey, Florida. Fearing eviction and not wanting anyone else to have Diamond, Bezanson admitted strangling the dog with her own chain. Afterwards, she attempted to bury the 7-year-old pit mix in her mother's back yard on Base Avenue, reports the Huffington Post. But thanks to an anonymous tipster, Bezanson's crime was revealed, and she was taken into custody on felony charges this past Tuesday.

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WSMV says Diamond's story began when workers at the Humane Society of Sarasota County found her abandoned and tied to a pole this past October. The society's executive director, Kristi Dorman, said

"Diamond was loved by the staff. She was an angel, a great dog. We thought we were sending her to a fantastic home."

Dorman says Bezanson never reached out to them about returning Diamond, after going through the thorough adoption process.

The Humane Society of Sarasota County had adopted Diamond out to Bezanson, expecting the dog to have a long, happy life. But in November, the Venice Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff deputies, according to Fox13 news, engaged in what ended up being a two-month-long investigation into animal cruelty allegations. Investigators learned Bezanson had been trying to convince Diamond's veterinarian to euthanize the dog, but they refused to do so on multiple occasions over several months. Questioned by detectives, Fox13 learned Bezanson "readily admitted what she did, and knew what she did was wrong," said Wendy Rose, a sheriff's office spokesperson.

An arrest affidavit provided more details, saying Bezeason claimed she faced eviction from the Sarasota Bay Mobile Home Park if she didn't get rid of her dog. The park's community manager, Shelley Zagaia, said pets are allowed -- just not the size of Diamond. Zagaia said, "We are a community of dog lovers here. There are lot of them in here, but because of insurance reasons they have to be under 17 pounds, and no aggressive breeds".

Bezeason chose to kill beautiful Diamond, rather than surrender her back to the Sarasota Humane Society, where she could have found new loving owners. ABC7 reported Rose saying Bezeason "turned her music up very loud during the killing so neighbors didn't hear Diamond dying." WSMV added Rose having said, "It was prolonged, it was painful, it was torturous, and it was a horrible, horrible death for this dog to die".

WSMV reports Bezanson told investigators, "I promised Diamond we would be together until the end, and this was the end."

The veterinarian said there was no ethical reason to euthanize Diamond, as she was a healthy seven year old female with no behavioral issues. The necropsy determined Diamond’s death was cruel, excessive, and completely unnecessary. Bezeason is being held on a $25,000 bond now facing felony charges of "cruelty to animals resulting in a cruel death".

A special "Justice for Diamond" page has been created to see this woman pays for her crimes. Please "like" the page and drop by to share your condolences for this sweet girl or join in on the discussions. Animal abuse must end!

If you have a story idea, or see human typos in the article you've just read, please email Pam DeWitt at To anonymously receive more animal advocacy articles, click on the "SUBSCRIBE" button at the top. Please help by sharing this article :)



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