TAMPA (FOX 13) - County officials are investigating after a Tampa man recorded dash-cam footage that appears to show a driver dumping a dog in a South Seminole Heights neighborhood, then speeding off.
Jerit Gaddis posted the video Monday evening, not long after he said the incident happened. It shows him turning north on North Boulevard from River Heights Avenue, then coming up behind a Chevy Cavalier stopped in the road next to the Common Ground Christian Church.
A driver's-side door on the Cavalier opens and a dog hops out, then the car continues north on North Boulevard. The dog, apparently confused, tries to follow the car but can’t keep up.
"It looked like a lost child," Gaddis said. "I never thought I was going to see someone dump a dog out of a car."
Gaddis got out of his car and tried to call the dog -- which he described as a male fawn red nose pit bull -- but the skittish animal ran off. He called the police, but he said they deferred to Hillsborough County Pet Resources.
“Police just left they said there is nothing they can do. It does not constitute as neglect or abandonment,” Gaddis wrote, later adding, “Animal control just called and will be filing either felony/misdemeanor charges.”
The fate of the animal was not immediately clear.
Gaddis told FOX 13 he wants as many people as possible to see the video in hopes that someone can identify the vehicle and the driver.
“[He] thought he was going to throw his dog out and get away with it. Well, you did it in front of the wrong person,” he wrote in his Facebook post.
Tuesday afternoon, Hillsborough County Pet Resources issued a statement about their investigation.
"Animal Control officers are reviewing dash-cam video of the incident taken by a nearby motorist. Anyone who has information on the incident or the identity of the driver is encouraged to contact Animal Control at (813) 744-5660," they wrote. "Pet Resources officials remind anyone facing difficulty caring for a dog or cat that the PRC shelter on Falkenburg Road is an open admissions shelter and accepts all dogs, cats, puppies or kittens regardless of age, breed, size, or medical condition. Abandoning an animal on the side of the road is never an acceptable option and could leave the pet owner facing animal cruelty or neglect charges."
Gaddis, a dog lover, himself, is at a loss for words each time he sees that video. "It's inhumane. It's disgraceful. It's horrible in my opinion. It's just not okay," Gaddis said. "You don't deserve an animal. I don't think you deserve a child if you have one, if you could be that heartless to just put an animal on the side of the road."