An Indiana man has been charged with various animal fighting charges after police seized eight dogs and six chickens from his property.
Police responded to an Anderson, Indiana, home on Sept. 18, and Officer John Owen saw five dogs on chains and six chickens in a cage, CBS 4 Indy reported.
According to the probable cause warrant obtained by CBS 4 Indy, Owen did not see any food or water with the animals and described the dogs as “very thin with observed ribs and open wounds.”
Police learned the property belonged to James Lee Peterson, 42, and returned with a search warrant on Sept. 21, according to CBS 4 Indy.
Authorities seized eight dogs, six chickens and fighting paraphernalia from the property, CBS 4 Indy reported.
The dogs were all pit bulls and had untreated injuries as well as no food. The animals had either no water or dirty water, according to CBS 4 Indy.
Police say one of the dogs, which was approximately 30 pounds, was tethered to a pole by a 10-pound chain, which is a restraint typically used in dog fighting training, CBS 4 Indy reported.
The dogs were not overly aggressive towards human contact but became extremely aggressive towards the other dogs, so they were placed in individual compartments in an Animal Control vehicle with steel plates separating the cages, according to CBS 4 Indy.
The dogs reacted so violently when placed next to each other that at least twice, the dogs broke through the walls and attacked each other, CBS 4 Indy reported.
Witnesses say the dogs were clearly attempting to kill each other, and the officer had to use his taser on two of the dogs to separate them, according to CBS 4 Indy.
A doctor who examined the dogs found six of them had significant bite wounds, and the other two had less extensive wounds, CBS 4 Indy reported.
All of the dogs had wounds that were in various stages of healing, “indicating a pattern of fighting,” according to CBS 4 Indy.
Peterson was arrested and charged with possession or purchase of an animal for fighting, animal fighting contest promoting, cruelty to an animal, misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia and harboring a non-immunized dog, CBS 4 Indy reported.