NR 17-3 Sheriff’s Office Arrests Animal Cruelty Suspects
On January 11, 2017, at approximately 3:45 a.m., Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Deputies along with the Brevard County Fire County Rescue (BCFR) personnel responded to 473 Kennwood Ave, Merritt Island, in reference to a structure fire. When Deputies arrived they found the residents attempting to frantically remove dogs from the residence. Unfortunately, the residence quickly filled with smoke preventing any further rescue attempts. Firefighters arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the fire.
Fourteen (14) dogs and one (1) cat were rescued from the residence. Some of the dogs were immediately provided oxygen by BCFR at the scene, with one (1) dog receiving CPR. All of the rescued animals were transported to the Brevard County South Animal Care Center where they received emergency treatment. Our medical staff continues to treat the animals and is optimistic that all Fifteen (15) will recover completely. Tragically, 45 cats, 4 dogs, 2 raccoons, and one Macaw perished in the fire.
While assisting BCFR with the removal of animals from the residence, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Service personnel discovered the condition of the residence to be deplorable and representative of animal hoarding. The overcrowding of animals within the home resulted in inhumane and unsanitary living conditions. Several of the rescued animals were not being provided adequate veterinary care and were suffering from significant medical issues. Unfortunately, the excessive number of animals being housed in the residence created severe overcrowding, which likely increased the effects of the fire and the subsequent loss of animal lives.
As a result of the investigation into this tragic event, on January 23, 2017, 67-year-old Jacquelyn Traum, and 55-year-old Daniel Brantley, both of Merritt Island, were arrested and charged with 4 Felony counts of Animal Cruelty (Causing Death, Pain, and Suffering), and 74 misdemeanor counts of Animal Cruelty (Torment, Deprive, Mutilate, Kill). Both Traum and Brantley are each being held at the Brevard County Jail under a $45,000 bond.
The investigation revealed Jacquelyn Traum and Daniel Brantley inhumanely housed a large amount of animals within a small space where the health, safety, and sanitary conditions of the animals contributed to the excessive suffering and stress of the animals. The manner of confinement contributed to the death of fifty seven (57) of the animals, due to their inability to escape the fire. Traum and Brantley also failed to properly seek veterinary care for four (4) dogs that had severe medical conditions, which caused unnecessary pain and suffering for the animals over an extended period of time.
Sheriff Wayne Ivey stated, “The inhumane conditions these animals were being kept and the amount of suffering they endured is unimaginable. The scene was very difficult for our Fire Rescue partners and our Deputies who tried to save as many animals as possible that were trapped inside the home. I can’t thank them and our Animal Services Team enough for everything they did to save the pets and to prepare them for adoption to loving homes where they will actually be cared for and loved the rest of their lives.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to please contact the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Cruelty Investigations via the Sheriff’s Office Communications Center at (321) 633-7162, or CRIMELINE at 1-800- 423-TIPS (8477), you can also visit http://crimeline.org/, or text ‘crimeline’ plus your tip to CRIME (274637). All information to CRIMELINE is confidential and you may be eligible for a reward.
For additional information regarding this media release, please contact Corporal Dave Jacobs at (321) 747-9780.