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New animal cruelty charges for owner of Palmetto pet sitting business – WWSB

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) – A Manatee County man who has previously been charged with animal cruelty is facing new charges related to a second incident.
A warrant for Nicholas Anthony Zotto, 29, has been issued. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says the charges are in connection with Pawsome Sitters in Palmetto.
According to officials, around Nov. 18, Zotto agreed to board two dogs in exchange for payment but when the owner came to pick them up, one of the dogs looked sick and was in obvious discomfort. A veterinarian found the dog was suffering from open sores and severe dehydration.
Through the investigation detectives learned the dog, while in Zotto’s care, was left in a confined space and sat in its own filth for an extended period. The dog’s name is being withheld at the request of the owner.
This was just weeks after Zotto was ordered to stop conducting business due to existing charges.
Earlier in November, Zotto was charged with cruelty to animals after a video posted to social media appeared to show Zotto striking a dog.
Zotto appeared in court in early December for code violations of running an illegal dog boarding kennel from his home. He was fined $500.
Deputies believe that Zotto is currently in New York.
Zotto was formerly a deputy with DeSoto County and an officer with Bradenton Police. He no longer holds either position.
ABC7 did an interview with Zotto in 2022, after he said he found a dog in a plastic bag on a road as he was driving home from his shift as a deputy in Hardee County. He later adopted the dog.
ABC7 reached out to Zotto for comment and he referred us to his attorney, who has not yet responded.
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