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Off-grid woman has animal cruelty charges dropped

Off-grid woman has animal cruelty charges dropped

By Liza Fernandez. CREATED Jun 17, 2014

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - The Cape Coral woman who's been locked in a battle with the city over her off-the-grid lifestyle has been released from jail and her animal cruelty charges dropped. 

Robin Speronis is back home after Lee County Animal Services tried unsuccessfully for a second time this year to have her prosecuted over her treatment of her 14-year-old lab Faith. 

“How does it feel to be a free woman," asked 4 In Your Corner’s Liza Fernandez. “I've always been free,” answered Speronis  

Perhaps in spirit but in actuality Speronis has spent the last month behind bars. She was arrested by Cape Coral Police on an animal cruelty charge May 14th and had remained in jail because the arrest violated the terms of her previously court-ordered probation stemming from a failed real estate deal.

The state attorney abruptly dropped the pending charge Monday. A spokeswoman told 4 In Your Corner the testimony of an animal services veterinarian could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Speronis' first order of business Tuesday was picking up the dog the agency confiscated back in April, claiming she wasn't doing enough to help heal from a skin condition and arthritis. Speronis said she was shocked at the condition of her dog. 

“She has a large, gaping, oozing sore on her leg, and I'm angry. I’m livid about that,” Speronis said.  

Animal services told FOX 4 the dog "caught her thigh on a kennel door [Thursday] when walking by." Speronis was scheduled for a hearing Friday that never happened. That same day the state attorney interviewed the vet at animal services. Speronis was released Monday night.    

At least now she has both her dogs back. Suzie, the chihuahua has been in the care of a neighbor. And all are staying in a home the city has told them to vacate.  

Reporter: “What's next with all the city code violations?"

Speronis: “Who cares, who cares...”  

Animal services can still choose to file civil animal cruelty charges against Speronis.

In the meantime, she said her energy will be focused on healing Faith. 

Liza Fernandez

Liza Fernandez

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Liza Fernandez is a reporter and weekend forecaster for the 10 p.m. news.