LAKELAND, FL (RNN) - Police in Florida arrested the owner of five dogs that had been so malnourished, they’d started eating one another.
Lakeland Police charged 54-year-old Genar Smith with felony cruelty to animals.
An officer responding to a complaint at Smith’s home on Dec. 30 saw two pit bulls chained to the ground, three in a medium-sized cage and one in a large cage.
One of the pit bulls in the medium-sized cage was dead. The two other dogs had eaten its neck and part of its skull.
One of the living dogs in the medium cage had part of its tail bitten off.
“All of the dogs that the officers saw appeared to be starving. Animal control showed up and also confirmed that as well,” Lakeland police spokesman Gary Gross told WFLA.
Police told local media that the dogs had been so severely starved, their rib cages and hip bones were clearly visible.
“This is one of the worst in a long time that we’ve had. Anybody hates to see a dog that is starved but then you have two dogs feeding off another. It’s shocking,” Gross said.
Smith reportedly told police he thought the deceased dog had died the day before of canine parvovirus.
Animal control tested all five living dogs for parvo. None of them tested positive.
Smith signed over his ownership rights to the three male dogs, but declined to give up his female dogs.Copyright 2019 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.