Man Accused Of Beating Dogs With Sledgehammer

Deputies arrested a man they say beat two dogs with a sledgehammer, a week after he disappeared.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Tad Whitworth, 49, was taken into custody in Lake Wales Saturday afternoon. He’s facing two counts of felony animal cruelty.

Deputies responded to Whitworth’s home last week after neighbors called 9-1-1 reporting that he hit two dogs, Bella and Tupac, in the head with a sledgehammer.

The dogs belong to Whitworth’s girlfriend, who told them she asked him to euthanize the dogs for her because they were old and had health problems.

The dogs are now in the care of SPCA of Lakeland.

Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.