In Hampton, Virginia, a man accused of leaving 21 puppies die inside his home will serve more than eight years in prison. Vernon Silver, 59, was sentenced on Wednesday at the Hampton Circuit Court, to 69 years in prison with 60 years and eight months suspended.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Silver entered an Alford plea to animal cruelty charges and one count of dog fighting, meaning he was not pleading guilty although he admitted prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
In March 2017, Silver had been charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty, 22 counts of failure to provide care and 21 counts of failure to dispose of a deceased animal. Dog fighting evidence was also found at the scene which included bite sticks, a spring pole. and supplements and medications used to heal wounds. The criminal complaint stated only one emaciated dog had been found alive which had been confined to a pen filled with urine and feces surrounded by other dead and decomposing bodies of dogs.
Silver had been a maintenance worker at the home and admitted the dogs belonged to him, but stated he wasn’t able to care for them because he became ill. The one dog that survived has since recovered and was adopted.
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