In Alexander County, North Carolina a dog trainer, who ran a business in Bethlehem, faces charges of 19 counts of felony animal cruelty and 19 counts of misdemeanor abandonment of animals. According to WsoctvNews, Matthew Trenton Leeth, 29, had been running a dog training facility where he would acquire dogs and train them as hunting or security animals and then sell them.
Last week, the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office had been called out to the property investigating a report of abandoned animals when they saw one dead dog as they looked through a window of the building. After Animal Control officers arrived, they found several emaciated dogs, three dead dogs and ten dead birds (including a cockatoo and nine quail) in a freezer.
Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman shook his head in disgust when he spoke about the horrific scene to WbtvNews that he and his deputies discovered:
“It’s just uncalled for. They starved to death. There was no food or water for them for at least seven to ten days.”
Leeth told authorities someone was supposed to have been taking care of the animals, but no one has been able to identify that person(s). The five surviving dogs are in the care of the Alexander County Animal Shelter. Leeth was being held under a $200,000 bond pending a court appearance.
(Photo of dog trainer charged with animal cruelty via AlexanderSheriff.org)
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