Animal Cruelty Arrest

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Burglary & Pawn Unit

Pinellas County Animal Services

Ian Everett Bender (Suspect – Arrested)
DOB: 5/25/1987
Address: 310 Orange Street, Ozona
Charges: Seven Counts of Cruelty to Animals

PINELLAS COUNTY – On March 8, 2024, Pinellas County Animal Services reported that there were seven surrendered cats at the SPCA, located at 9099 130th Avenue North in Largo.  Five cats were in a small plastic bin and two cats were in a small suitcase.

Detectives say when employees opened the bin and the suitcase, five cats were deceased, and two cats were in critical condition. One of the cats had to be euthanized due to its poor condition. Additionally, the only surviving cat had an internal temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Detectives say when the cats were removed from the bin and suitcase, they were wet to the touch and there was urine and feces, indicating the cats were alive when they were placed in the bin and suitcase.

Throughout the course of the investigation, detectives learned that 36-year-old Ian Bender was looking after the cats while a friend was away on a business trip. All of the cats were under the age of 18 months and were all healthy and in good condition.  After caring for the cats for approximately a week and a half, detectives say Bender stated he was sick of caring for them and began to plan the surrender. Bender placed the cats in the bin and the suitcase because he stated he did not have any other carriers to put them in and dropped them off at the SPCA. It is unknown how long the cats were in the bin and suitcase.

On March 27, 2024, Bender turned himself into the Pinellas County Jail and was charged with seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

The investigation continues.

Posted by Amanda Sinni Thursday, March 28, 2024 10:20:00 AM Categories: Animal Calls

Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911ADA info