Man accused of beating dogs with hammer arrested

- Polk County deputies have arrested a man accused of beating two dogs with a sledgehammer.

Deputies say an anonymous tip led them to 49-year-old Tad Whitworth. He was taken into custody peacefully Saturday afternoon at a home on Lake Kotsa Drive, east of Lake Wales.

The two Labrador retrievers, Tupac and Bella, are recovering.  Neither of the dogs suffered any significant fractures, according to the medical director at the SPCA of Florida.

Investigators say Whitworth’s girlfriend asked him to euthanize the dogs because they were old, so Whitworth bludgeoned them. A neighbor tipped off authorities about the beating.

The dogs will be ready to be adopted in as little as a few weeks.

Whitworth was charged with animal cruelty and is being held on a $2,000 bond.

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