Breaking! 9 Suspects Arrested For Using Trained Dogs To Illegally Bait, Trap, & Maul Black Bears In Florida

Photos of six of the nine suspects from Panama City News Herald

An unfathomable case of animal cruelty has resulted in the arrest of nine people after a year-long investigation into the baiting, trapping, and mauling of bears in various parts of Florida, including the Ocala National Forest.

The alleged perpetrators who reportedly used doughnuts and dogs to help execute their sick version of animal cruelty include: Lake Butler residents Dustin Reddish, 25, Haley Reddish, 25, Troy Travis Starling, 45, and William Tyler Wood, 29; Callahan residents Charles Luther Scarbrough III, 30, and Hannah Weiner Scarbrough, 27; Christopher Elliot Haun, 42 of Ormond Beach; William Landrum, 39 of Millboro, Va.; and Mark Lindsey, 26, of Moultrie, Ga.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi released information following the investigation that stated that the defendants lured black bears by placing drums of dog food, doughnuts, pastries and peanut butter in various areas throughout Baker, Flagler, Marion and Union counties. The defendants then used large packs of trained dogs to chase and maul the black bears.

The defendants then posted numerous videos of the attacks on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

“Not only were these gruesome acts of violence repulsive and cruel, they were recorded and posted to social media for the amusement of the defendants,” Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement. “I doubt they are laughing any longer, now that they have been arrested for serious crimes.”

The charges consist of several felonies and misdemeanors including Animal Cruelty, Illegal Taking and Baiting of Black Bear and Florida RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Act violations.

Many Florida officials also shared their appreciation of the department’s work to bring those responsible for these inhumane attacks to justice.

“In Florida, we have no tolerance for vile animal cruelty, and we will hold anyone accountable who commits this heinous crime,” said Governor Rick Scott.

Sadly, though, the statements were also plagued with defensive mentions of “conservationists” and “ethical hunters.”

“The FWC wholly condemns the acts by these nine individuals outlined by this investigation,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. “As conservationists and ethical hunters, it is appalling to think about the callous disregard for common decency and our state’s precious natural resources shown by these violations.”


Hunting of innocent animals is abhorrent and inhumane animal cruelty as well and should also be treated as a “heinous crime”; there is nothing decent about it!

The public can help by reporting suspected violations to the FWC. To make a report, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), text or email or visit

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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