Nassau County man accused of putting 7 pets in trash compactor

A Nassau County man faces four counts of felony animal cruelty after neighbors say he put his pets in the trash compactor.

Deputies said Phu Tran tried to kill all seven of his animals.

Three survived.

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Neighbor Steve Belson said he saw Tran put the animals in the trash compactor, so he ran across the street and pushed the emergency stop button.

“I saw him come out with a pet carrier. I saw a white bunny in there and he threw it in there,” said Belson.

Belson said he snapped a picture of Tran’s car after he put the animal cages in the trash compactor.

“Like, what the -- really? You’re putting animals in a dumpster?” said Belson.

The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office said a guinea pig and three birds died.

One bird and two rabbits survived.

An employee at Nassau Club Apartments told the Sheriff’s Office that Tran had recently gotten a letter from the complex fining him $800 for having animals in his unit that were not allowed.

“If he wanted to get rid of them, we have shelters. We have animal shelters. Take them over there,” said Belson.

Tran was arrested at a Fernandina Beach shopping center.

Nassau County Animal Services took the surviving animals to a local veterinarian’s office to be treated.