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Woman Charged as Mystery Grows Around Missing Dog

SPRING HILL – Last year, deputies began investigating reports of a missing dog that disappeared from her caretaker during a veterinarian appointment on December 9th.

According to officials, 31-year-old Jennifer Leali didn’t report the incident until December 31st, when she told investigators that she left the dog “Zola” in her car, while she stepped inside the business for a moment. When she returned, Leali says Zola was gone and the rear door was open to her vehicle. Leali wasn’t sure if Zola manipulated the handle or was taken from the vehicle, but during questioning, investigators believed her story wasn’t adding up.

Eventually, Leali admitted that she lied about Zola’s disappearance and began shifting the blame towards Furever Friendz owner, Michele Skolny. Leali says Skolny is the one who lost Zola and told her to lie about her disappearance, so that Furever Friendz would not get a bad reputation.

Investigators tried several times to conduct a CVSA exam (Polygraph) on Leali, which she initially agreed to, but she kept making excuses as to why she couldn’t, after numerous scheduled attempts.

Investigators turned their attention to Skolny, who denied Leali’s allegations and agreed and performed the examination without hesitation. Skolny passed the examination without any signs of deception, according to investigators. Skolny says she even hired a private investigator to look into the case and started a facebook page, which raised $2,000 to offer as a reward. Despite all their efforts, Zola whereabouts remains a mystery.

Last Wednesday, Leali was arrested and charged with making false reports to law enforcement and booked into the Hernando County Jail. She is currently free on a $1,000 bond.

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  • Both sound sketchy anyone who know how to keep calm can pass lie detecter tests not always accurate. And why post pic of dog like that. Someone got that poor dog, and yes i beleive furever friends wouldnt want bad rep. .what rescue would.

    Friday, 8 May 2015, 9:48 pm
  • I have followed the story of this poor fur baby from day one. I just pray someone comes forward and lets us know what really happened to her and I pray that she was taken by someone who loves her and is taking great care of her.

    Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 8:31 pm
  • Pretty obvious what happened. Good looking un-spayed female pit. She saw $$$ and bred it with a male to sell the puppies. Could not keep up the charade once it was scheduled to be spayed, so presto, dog mysteriously escapes. I imagine there was a craigslist ad with a phone number that ties back to her or her boyfriend at some point.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 6:38 pm
  • In my opinion she sold that poor dog before she got spayed becausee A pit-bull that looks like her when bred with the right male can either produce pure white puppies or blues. Poor dog I hope she is OK wherever she is…

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 4:56 pm
  • im thinking the dog pet is no longer with us dosent make since .

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 4:03 pm
  • Whoever took the dog probably thinks the new adoptive owner was to blame for that poor baby being under weight. Since her weight has been spoken for my question is, since when is a polygraph enough evidence to base an arrest on?

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 2:53 pm
  • So have they not found the dog yet? The poor baby.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:42 pm
  • I agree with Travis. Aren’t they concerned about the animals current health condition? Clearly they were not taking good care of her to begin with. Those pictures should have been a red flag.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:40 pm
  • My thoughts exactly… what does all this have to do with the starving dog? Should be animal neglect/abuse charges.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:29 pm
  • People like her don’t deserve to have any animal. They have feelings too. Just because they are animals doesn’t mean they should be treated like that. An animal will love you unconditional if you treat them right unlike people even if you treat them right they will stab you in the back quick.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:25 pm
  • I thought the same thing. She does look like she was underweight. Nothing from the dog’s owner?

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:25 pm
  • She is skinny in these pictures because she was recovering from being abandoned and left to die by her previous owner. It would be great if her previous story was included in this one so that people have all of the information. She was left to die by her previous owner and left to die. Here is a link to another article about her that kind of gives her back story.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:21 pm
  • no doubt Travis.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:19 pm
  • I thought the same thing, wherever she is I hope they are feeding her

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:10 pm
  • I agree with Travis Beasley…… false accusations…… makes you wonder if drugs are involved….. maybe a psychological evaluation is in order….. another case of someone that can’t take responsibility for their own actions…… way to go HCSO for not giving up…. job well done!!!!!

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:09 pm
  • Travis….. those are before pictures of the dog when she was rescued from an abusive home I believe. if I remember correctly that is how the story began

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 12:55 pm
  • The focus should have been on why that poor dog is so skinny.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 12:39 pm
    • Why the heck was the dog so thin?? That is ridiculous!

      Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 12:45 pm
      • The pictures were when FurEver Friendz received Zola into their care. She was a part of an animal cruelty investigation. She went to FurEver Friendz, Inc. to recover from near death. Zola was at a good and healthy weight when she was due to have her spay surgery on Dec. 9th. The day Jennifer claims she went missing.

        Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 2:51 pm
    • The dog was rescued in that condition. That is why furever friends had her.

      Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:36 pm
    • I agree. Hope the sweet pup has found a better home . She is pathetically thin..And a person Like Leali does not deserve to have pets.

      Tuesday, 5 May 2015, 1:41 pm

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