SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Braveheart now has a 'fur-ever' home and family, and his original owner is now facing a felony animal cruelty charge.
Caddo Animal Control Director Everett Harris confirms that the pit-bull puppy's original owner signed away rights to the dog Thursday night, clearing the way for Bo and Ronda Spataro to adopt.
As a result, Braveheart was released into the care of a veterinarian in Caddo Parish Thursday night. On Friday, after being given a clean bill of health, he went home with the Spataros.
They brought Braveheart up to the Benton Animal Hospital where Ronda Spataro works on Friday afternoon for a brief visit and to announce Braveheart's adoption.
Shreveport Police Cpl. Marcus Hines confirms 31-year-old Gabriel Lee of the 3100 block of Devaughn Street in Shreveport turned himself in to the Caddo Correctional Center just before 3:30 p.m. Friday. He is charged with 1 count of aggravated cruelty to animals. His bond is set at $5,000.
Animal control investigators had been working to identify the man who rented the storage unit at a facility off of Youree Drive, where the emaciated dog was found chained back on September 11.
While police made the initial report upon Braveheart's discovery, Caddo Parish Animal Services did not begin investigating the alleged abuse until after learning about it from a local reporter October 9. That's when the dog was taken from his foster family, the Spataros. That created an uproar among those who felt the dog should be allowed to recover at their home, rather than the sterile confinement of the animal shelter.
A protest was planned and a petition was circulated, gathering more than 10,000 signatures in just over 24 hours before it was shut down with word of Braveheart's release to a local vet Thursday night.
The Spataros say Braveheart is doing well, and that they are happy to have him home.