South Florida woman arrested after cat, dog found starved to death in apartment

Ashley Alicea faces felony animal cruelty, abandonment charges

Ashley Alicea faces felony charges of animal cruelty and abandonment.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A South Florida woman was arrested Thursday on animal cruelty and abandonment charges after her dog was found dead in a bedroom closet and a cat was found dead in a toilet in her apartment, police said.

Ashley Alicea, 26, faces four felony counts after the discovery was made Sunday in her Boynton Beach apartment.

According to a Boynton Beach police report, officers were called to conduct a welfare check at the apartment on Quantum Lakes Drive after they were told that there were flies in the window, old mail attached to the door and an odor of decomposition coming from inside.

After officers were unable to contact Alicea, they got a maintenance worker to open the door and found the dead pets.

Police said Alicea eventually spoke with officers on the phone and agreed to come to the apartment.

Alicea told police in a sworn interview that she had been renting the apartment since June 2016 but had allowed a man to live there since January while she moved to Boca Raton to live with her boyfriend, the report said. She said he agreed to pay the electric and water bills while she continued to pay the rent.

Alicea told police that "she just figured that he would (care for her pets) since she was paying the rent," the report said.

Although Alicea claimed to love her pets, she said she "didn't really have time for them and they weren't allowed" at her boyfriend's place, the report said.

Police said Alicea didn't know the name of the man whom she claimed was living in her apartment and wasn't able to provide information about somebody else who would know him.

A leasing agent at Alicea's apartment told police that Alicea wouldn't let maintenance inside for a preventive check in April because she had guests visiting. The leasing agent said Alicea promised to call the office to reschedule the inspection, but she never did.

Necropsies on the dead pets revealed that the dog was emaciated and had an empty stomach, except for a small amount of hair, while the cat's stomach contained a small amount of hair and fecal matter. The veterinarian who performed the necropsies concluded that the pets died from a lack of food and water.

Alicea was being held Friday morning in the main Palm Beach County jail on a $6,000 bond.