Woman Arrested For Animal Cruelty May Have Stabbed One of Her Dogs

A Fort Pierce woman that was arrested and charged with numerous counts of animal cruelty may have stabbed one of her dead dogs.

St. Lucie County Sheriff's Deputies found a sick home full of animals, some dead and starving, with an odor of death reeking from it when they arrived on the scene Monday.

Deputies arrived at the home on North Kings Highway after the landlord of the home noticed a foul smell coming from it. The landlord also said he hadn't seen his tenant, Michele Nunziata, in several days.

Deputies on scene said they were met with "an overwhelming foul odor of decomposition." They also said they could hear several dogs barking from inside the home.

As deputies tried to get Nunziata to come back to the home and allow them inside, she repeatedly told deputies over the phone that she was "too busy." When she did arrive home and let deputies inside she admitted to burying dogs in her front yard, though deputies could not find grave sites.

When Animal Control Officers arrived they took inventory of the home and found:

3 very slim Pit Bulls

A Blood Hound suffering from malnutrition

2 Cockatiels without food or water

2 ferrets without food or water

1 Black Wolf and 1 Doberman Pincher locked in a kennel laying in feces with no food or water, suffering from malnutrition

3 dead dogs locked in a kennel, decaying

Deputies and Animal Control Officers also found rabbits caged without food or water and a goose.

Nunziata has been charged with 6 felony accounts of animal cruelty as well as 11 Misdemeanors.

In a follow-up report, Animal Care and Control Officers say it appeared one of the deceased dogs left to rot in a cage had been stabbed in it's armpit.

Officers said it appeared that most of the dead animals died of neglect.

Nunziata told officers she never neglected her animals and "would get them all back."

Right now, all the animals are still at the St. Lucie Humane Society and they are working on getting custody of all of them.  All the animals are getting complete health exams from the Humane Society Vets. Vets tell Fox 29 that it's too early for any of them to be put up for adoption, but that is what they are working toward.

The black wolf will be going to a wolf rescue sometime this week.