Skip to Content

Video: Deltona Man Charged With Animal Cruelty After Malnourished Dogs Rescued

Date Added: August 16, 2023 3:04 pm

Andrew Gant
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations


A Deltona man has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after deputies assisting Deltona Animal Control officers discovered his dogs were rarely fed and lacking water while kept outside in severe heat.

All three dogs – Dolly, Buttercup, and Joker – were taken in by Animal Control and are receiving appropriate evaluation and care.

Their owner Zachary Michael Crain, 26 (DOB 4/29/1997), was taken into custody Tuesday night and booked in jail this morning on 3 felony counts of animal cruelty and 3 misdemeanor counts of unlawful confinement/abandonment of animals without sufficient food or water.

Deputies responded to the home on Abbott Avenue on Tuesday evening after Animal Control requested assistance. Earlier in the day, Animal Control officers had custody of Dolly and Buttercup after they were picked up after escaping their pen. The officers were already familiar with the dogs from past escapes, but noticed their physical condition was worse than in the past.

Both dogs were underweight, with Buttercup’s condition the most visibly concerning, with her hip bones, shoulder blades and other bones protruding.

When interviewed, Crain indicated he had not bought food in about 5 weeks due to financial constraints, and he last fed the dogs 2 to 3 days ago.

An additional dog, Joker, was still at the house as deputies began their investigation, and it was noted that all bowls in the dogs’ enclosure were completely dry. A deputy found a hose and used it to provide Joker some water.

A review of weather conditions in the Deltona area over the past several days indicated temperatures as high as 99 degrees and heat indices as high as 108 degrees.

Because Crain had indicated he’d been unable to buy dog food anytime recently, a deputy purchased a large bag of Pedigree and delivered it to the house. The response to that gesture was captured in the attached body camera video (above).

Animal Control took custody of Joker, who will be receiving a full evaluation along with the other dogs.

Deputies conducted a walk-through of the home to confirm that the children in the house were receiving proper nutrition and care. Plenty of food was observed in the pantry and refrigerator. Pizza was also delivered to the house while deputies were on scene.

Crain posted $9,000 bail shortly after his booking at the Volusia County Branch Jail.

Rather than cause pain and suffering to animals, and to avoid the risk of criminal charges, anyone who is unable to provide their animals with proper nutrition, care, or shelter is encouraged to contact Animal Control, Animal Services or a reputable rescue organization to arrange for a surrender.

We use cookies to provide and improve our services. By using our site, you consent to cookies.