60. Loveable dog 'Midnight' survives being stabbed by DeLand man described as suicidal and Baker-acted; dog recovering from cruel act

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BY HENRY FREDERICK / Headline Surfer

DELAND, Fla. -- A dog whose human owner stabbed her in the side before leaving her at home in DeLand and threatening suicide in Ormond Beach was recovered by Volusia sheriff’s deputies and Volusia County Animal Services officers, who took her in for treatment and put her on the road to recovery.

Animal cruelty charges were pending in November against the 36-year-old suspect who stabbed the black Labrador mix, named Midnight.

The unnamed man was taken into protective custody by the Ormond Beach Police Department under Florida’s Baker Act in early November after a brief standoff in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn at 155 Interchange Blvd., Ormond Beach.

Ormond Beach cops had responded to the Hampton Inn around 3:20 p.m. Thursday after a crisis intervention hotline alerted them to text messages from a suicidal man. Police successfully negotiated with the subject, who was in a vehicle holding a kitchen knife and took him into custody without incident. When he was taken into custody, he told officers he had stabbed his dog at his home on Monroe Street in the DeLand area.

Volusia County deputies went to the DeLand address to conduct a well-being check on the dog and found her in the house with an apparent knife wound to her right side.

Midnight was friendly and up and walking around despite her injury. Animal Services officers transported her for emergency evaluation and treatment and discovered she had an injury to her lung, but her condition was stable. She has since improved.

A dog named "Midnight" was recovering after being stabbed on her side back in November by a man who confessed to the cruel incident to police the following day at a motel in Ormond. The dog was found by Volusia County deputies in the man's DeLand residence favoring her right side. 

Midnight had a microchip, and Animal Services was able to determine the man who stabbed her was not her registered owner.

The owners were contacted and advised they’d recently allowed the suspect to take her home with him. They were shocked by the attack and expressed a desire to foster Midnight after she’s well enough to leave veterinary care.

Animal Services is working in consultation with the State Attorney’s Office on the appropriate criminal charges against the defendant, who was transported to SMA Behavioral Healthcare in Daytona Beach for a mental health evaluation.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Ormond Beach Police Department and Volusia County Animal Services for the professionalism, teamwork, and partnership that led to the peaceful resolution of this call and the rescue of an innocent animal.

Henry Frederick bio / Headline Surfer

About the Byline Writer: Henry Frederick is a member of the working press and publisher of Headline Surfer, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet launched in 2008, that serves greater Daytona Beach, Sanford & Orlando from Lake Mary, Florida via HeadlineSurfer.com. Frederick has amassed close to 150 award-winning bylines in print & online. He earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in 2019. He was a breaking news reporter (metro cops & courts beat) for the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade. And Before that worked the same beat for The Journal-News/Gannett Suburban Newspapers in Rockland/Westchester counties, NY, dating back to 1989. Having witnessed the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Florida's death chamber and covering other high profile cases, Frederick has appeared on national crime documentary shows on Discovery ID, Reelz, and the Oxygen Network series "Snapped" for his analysis. • Award-Winning Journalism: Florida Press Club recognizes Headline Surfer for nine stories in 2020 statewide competition. • Award-Winning Journalism of Henry Frederick.

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