Marcus Brown, 32, of Delray Beach was arrested on November 11th this year, after more than five years of eluding officers and the Palm Beach County court system since he was arrested in 2014 for Animal Cruelty and Abandonment or Confinement.
According to Palm Beach County Court public records, an anonymous complaint was reported to the Boynton Beach Police Department on September 3, 2014. The concern was about multiple pitbulls confined to the back porch of the residence.
When the police arrived at the address to investigate, they spoke with the female resident who explained the dogs belonged to her son, Marcus Brown. She told the officers that her son had brought the dogs to her home two months prior because he had no other place to keep them. She then added that Brown does not live with her but comes to visit each day to care for the dogs.
Brown’s mother willingly allowed the deputies to enter into the backyard to see the dogs. Immediately, the officers became aware of an overwhelming stench of feces and urine covering the area.
Two younger dogs were running loose within the fenced backyard while four adult dogs and eight puppies were found confined in metal crates on the back porch as specified by the anonymous tip.
Empty food and water dishes were scattered across the porch.
A six-month-old female dog was found confined in a feces-laden crate without access to food and about an inch of stale water in a plastic bowl. She was frantically barking, jumping and scratching when the officers approached her.
Another dirty crate held a three-year-old female dog with multiple scars behind her head and forelegs. The officer noted on the report that the scarring was consistent with injuries inflicted by fighting with other dogs. The only food inside was a hamburger bun lying on the bottom of the crate and a bucket half-filled with water.
A third crate confined a one-year-old female dog with a swollen muzzle, scratches and puncture wound scars on her face. The report indicated the dog was obviously under-weight and was wearing a tow chain around her neck.
Another three-year-old female was confined in a crate with her six to seven-week-old puppies. This crate was among the worst with smeared feces and urine covering the bottom. No food or water dishes were found inside. The mother, and her puppies, were all filthy and in extremely poor physical condition.
The deputies advised Brown’s mother that the matter was serious and in violation of state law. She responded that she did not want any ownership rights to the dogs nor did she want to be responsible for the dogs. She then completed a sworn written statement as such and willingly allowed the officers to remove the dogs from the property.
The deputies immediately began removing the dogs one by one. However, while attempting to relocate the mother dog and her puppies who seemed to be in the poorest health, the officers realized two of the puppies were lying on their sides and unresponsive. One had a faint pulse. Sadly, the other had died before the rescue.
In the process of the deputies removing the animals, the suspect arrived on the scene and claimed ownership of all fourteen canines. Brown explained that he had brought the dogs to his mother’s residence because he did not have a home or any other place to keep them. At that time, he agreed to willingly give up custody of all of the dogs and puppies in a sworn written statement.
Each of the surviving dogs and puppies were photographed then carefully placed inside the ventilated animal control truck. The rescue team provided the dogs with fresh water immediately and then transported them to Palm Beach County Animal Control.
Upon arrival, all of the dogs and puppies received a medical evaluation by a staff veterinarian. A necropsy was performed on the unfortunate puppy found deceased.
The veterinarian’s examinations were followed by a written report that confirmed the medical status of each of the neglected animals. All of the surviving puppies were underweight, anemic, infested with internal parasites and covered in urine and feces.
Each dog and puppy received immediate medical attention. However, the second of the two puppies that were found at the scene unresponsive was in distress and ‘vocalizing pain’. The veterinarian sadly found it necessary to euthanize the puppy to end its suffering.
The medical examination reports for the six adult dogs helped to validify the poor treatment these helpless animals had endured.
The medical report explained that all of the adult dogs arrived in poor health. One of the dogs arrived with fractured teeth, long nails, a sore on her right side and diagnostic tests revealed the dog was suffering from coccidia and hookworms. All of her paws were red and sore. She had no abdominal fat and very little muscle mass over her shoulders, back and hind end. Her rib, spine and hip bones were visible. The dog weighed just 43 pounds upon arrival to the shelter. After two weeks of treatment, the dog’s weight increased to 51 pounds.
The second adult female pitbull was also examined and the veterinarian’s report noted the dog had “scars from old wounds, as well as fresh wounds, including old scars on her ears, swelling of her muzzle and an open wound on her right front leg.”
The veterinarian added to the report, “This was not the first time the dog had been injured.”
The dog also was found to test positive for hookworms.
The third adult dog was examined and found to also have scars from old wounds as well as fresh wounds. Her front left leg was swollen with a puncture wound and there were old scars on both front legs and behind her ears. Again, the veterinarian explained this was not the first time the dog had been injured.
The dog also was found to test positive for hookworms.
The remaining three adult dogs were also examined, and the report stated the these were the most fortunate of the pack who had only minor physical issues, including testing positive for hookworms. But the three were, for the most part, in “satisfactory physical condition”.
Based on the medical reports and statements provided by the veterinarians at Animal Care and Control in Palm Beach County, the Boynton Beach Police Department found it evident that the dogs’ original owner, Marcus Brown, had indeed deprived eleven of the canines of necessary sustenance, including food, water and medical care.
Brown was arrested and charged with nine counts of Cruelty to Animals (FSS 828.12(1) and four counts of Unlawful Confinement of Animals (FSS 828.13).
Brown also received four citations in June related to this same offense just prior to his September 2014 arrest. The citations were for:
- COUNTY REGISTRATION DID FAIL TO LICENSE DOG
- DID ALLOW DOGS TO BREED W/OUT OBTAINING PERMIT
- DID FAIL TO VACCINATE DOG FOR RABIES
- DID ALLOW DOGS TO BREED W/OUT OBTAINING PERMIT (2ND OFFENSE)
As of this date, Brown remains incarcerated in Palm Beach County Detention Center on a $27,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on December 23, 2019.
President Trump recently signed a bill making animal cruelty a felony, expanding on the legislation put in place back in 2010 that made creation or distribution of ‘animal crushing’ videos illegal.
Trump emphasized the role animals play “in the development, settlement, security and happiness of our country” and referred to Conan, the military super-dog who was injured during the mission that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
If you suspect a case of animal cruelty in Palm Beach County, contact Crime Stoppers Palm Beach County, Inc. at 800-458-8477. Anonymous tips are welcome and may be eligible for a reward.