Florida Nurse Faces Charges for Poisoning Pregnant Dog, Cats in Yard Feud

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Tamesha Knighten, a 51-year-old licensed practical nurse from Florida, was arrested on three counts of animal cruelty and one count of depositing poison in public. 

The arrest came after detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office accused her of poisoning two cats and a pregnant Chihuahua on August 16, 2023.

During a press conference, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd detailed the unsettling incident and related how Knighten allegedly killed eight puppies in the Chihuahua’s womb. He added that by the time Florida authorities came, some of the creatures had already passed away and that one had been discovered in horrifying misery.

The investigation began after Luna and Pancake, the two cats, died within hours of each other, exhibiting symptoms of choking, foaming at the mouth, and extreme pain. 

Simultaneously, the pregnant 4-year-old dog, Daisy, went missing and was later discovered deceased.

Florida Surveillance Footage Evidence

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Tamesha Knighten, a 51-year-old licensed practical nurse from Florida, was arrested on three counts of animal cruelty and one count of depositing poison in public.

The owners of the deceased animals informed detectives about Knighten’s prior threats to poison their pets if they continued to enter her yard. They also observed her pacing in her yard on the day their pets died.

Knighten was seen wearing rubber gloves and bringing a bowl of chicken strips into her yard for the neighborhood animals, along with what she described as her special seasoning, according to surveillance footage from Knighten’s house in Florida. 

Samples from the bowl and the deceased pets confirmed the presence of Phorate, a pesticide commonly found in insecticides.

Florida Sheriff Judd expressed vehement condemnation for Knighten’s actions, stating, “Do not ever poison innocent animals. Unless, of course, you want to go to jail as well.” He referred to Knighten as an IJN an ‘in-the-jail nurse emphasizing the severity of her alleged crimes.

Knighten, previously employed at United Health Care at Wellmed in Lakeland, faced three counts of felony animal cruelty and was booked into the Polk County Jail. 

As of now, it remains unclear if she has posted bail. Sheriff Judd highlighted the unimaginable cruelty of the act, particularly coming from someone within the medical field.

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