Florida Man Charged for Punching Puppy and Throwing Senior Dog With Cancer Outside, Cops Say

A mugshot of Joshua David Lewis, 35, of Chokoloskee, Florida.
A mugshot of Joshua David Lewis, 35, of Chokoloskee, Florida.Collier County Sheriff's Office

Cocoa, the 18-year-old Maltese with cancer, had to be put down two days after the incident, officials said.

A Florida man was charged with two counts of animal cruelty for his alleged actions against a senior Maltese with cancer and a Labradoodle puppy.

“If you abuse an animal, you are absolutely going to jail,” Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said in a statement.

Last November, Joshua Lewis, 35, was left alone with a 1-year-old Labradoodle, Charlie, while its owner was out of town. During her stint away, Charlie’s owner allegedly watched Lewis on her home security camera punch the puppy in the head and face, then beat it with its leash, authorities said.

She immediately returned home to her Labradoodle, and when she confronted Lewis, he allegedly said his anger got the best of him, cops said.

This was not Lewis’ first time allegedly hurting a pet dog.

In April 2021, deputies said Lewis encountered an elderly Maltese named Cocoa. Cocoa was sick with cancer, and relieved itself in the house. Upon the discovery, Lewis allegedly threw Cocoa out of the house, and when he later went back to bring Cocoa back inside, the 18-year-old senior pup tried to bite him and ran away, authorities said.

When Lewis was eventually able to retrieve Cocoa, he allegedly tossed the pup back onto the deck and left the senior dog in the Florida sun, authorities said.

Cocoa’s owner later found Cocoa covered in dirt and barely able to move, according to a report. Two days later, Cocoa had to be put down as a result of the extensive injuries suffered.

Following an investigation, Lewis was arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty. He remains behind bars, pending a court date next month.

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