Pregnant Chihuahua & 2 Cats Poisoned by Neighbour; Arrested on Animal Abuse Charges After 5 Months

Tampa, Florida: 2 cats and a pregnant Chihuahua was poisoned by a neighbor in Lakeland. The Chihuahua had 8 pups in her womb when she died.

This horrific animal cruelty incident was committed by a nurse.

Detectives claimed that on August 16, 51-year-old Tamesha Knighten, a licensed practical nurse at United Health Care at WellMed, poisoned two pet cats and a pregnant Chihuahua. As a result, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Agricultural Crimes Unit detained Knighten on three counts of animal cruelty and one count of putting poison in public.

The two cats, named Luna and Pancake, passed away within hours of one another, according to the authorities, who then launched an inquiry. There were reports of both cats choking, foaming at the mouth, and in excruciating discomfort.

Soon after, Daisy, the neighbor’s pregnant dog, vanished from sight, prompting them to start looking for her. By the time the couple found her, she had passed away.

The couple informed detectives that Knighten had threatened to poison their dogs if they entered her yard. The couple reported to authorities that they noticed Knighten pacing in her yard along the common fence line on the day the cats passed away.

Knighten informed the couple their cat could be choking on a frog after he saw the first pet exhibit signs of frothing at the mouth. Knighten was outside at the time.

Knighten acknowledged placing ant bait outdoors around her air conditioner during the investigation, saying she did it to kill any ants that could try to enter her unit.

During their examination of the area surrounding the unit, detectives claim to have discovered a white Styrofoam bowl containing a dark fluid and a “meaty substance.” Knighten denied having Styrofoam bowls when questioned, but a search of her house turned up a package of them in the pantry.

Investigators requested to view the security camera footage after observing Knighten had one in her yard. As they watched the video, the authorities noticed that Knighten was carrying a Styrofoam bowl that contained a white and brown liquid while wearing blue gloves.

She admitted to the officers that she gave the chicken “special seasoning” before putting it outside to feed the animals in the area. The “special seasoning” turned out to be phorate, a chemical commonly found in insecticides, according to samples taken from the dead pets and bowl.

In order to identify the poison and track it back to the pets, Sheriff Judd said his animal cruelty investigative section submitted samples to the University of Florida, Texas A&M, and Michigan State University. That’s why it took months for the arrest, he claimed.