HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Authorities arrested a man in Hillsborough County, accusing him of animal cruelty after rescuing twenty-three dogs from his property.
The dogs were rescued from the home on Wednesday. Initially, someone called authorities worried about a dog that appeared to be injured.
Roger Mills, the Director of Animal Control, said they checked it out and quickly realized there was a bigger problem. He said they saw signs of cruelty immediately, which is why they obtained a search warrant.
When they returned, they removed those dogs from the property. Mills said they were living inside cages in the backyard. Some of the dogs needed medical attention because of their poor conditions.
“The cages they were in were almost completely enclosed in filth….no water. If they had water, it was full of feces,” Mills said.
Mills said five of the dogs that were rescued had been used for dog fighting at another location. They had scars on their bodies.
“It’s not going to be tolerated. If we see that….this occurring, we’re going to follow it to the letter of the law and we’re going to prosecute it and we’re going to take their animals from them,” Mills said.
Animal control is also known as the Department of Pet Resources. The dogs are currently recovering at the shelter. Mills said they worked with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Mills said this will go through a court hearing to determine what will happen to the dogs and whether, at some point, they could be adopted.
“Certainly it pulls on your heartstrings. Most of the guys do this work ‘cause they love animals,” Mills said.
Jarvis Lynch faces various charges including cruelty to animals. As well as baiting, breeding, owning or possessing animals for fighting. ABC Action News tried to reach out to Lynch for a comment.