A Jessamine County man faces animal cruelty charges after several animals were found in poor health in what might have been a dogfighting operation, officials said.
Jessamine County Sheriff's Office deputies went to Marty Stevens' home at 1718 Kissing Ridge Road about 4 p.m. Wednesday to serve an arrest warrant charging him with first-degree burglary in Garrard County, Chief Deputy Allen Peel said.
Stevens, 40, was not at the home, but sheriff's deputies contacted Jessamine County Animal Control when they found the animals, Peel said.
"It looked like they were dying and starving and neglected," he said.
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Stevens has been charged with ten counts of second-degree animal cruelty, animal control officer Frank Ruggiero said. He said Stevens, who had not been located Thursday afternoon, might face additional charges after the investigation is complete.
One puppy was found dead at the home, Ruggiero said.
He said there were 11 pit bulls, two Chihuahua mixes, three puppies and a Jack Russell terrier in the yard. The animals were taken to the Jessamine County SAVE Center, an animal shelter for dogs and cats in Nicholasville.
The animals were in "very poor condition," Ruggiero said. The pit bulls were at least 15 pounds underweight.
"All the animals were infested with fleas beyond belief," Ruggiero said.
Ruggiero said several items found in the yard — including a treadmill — seemed to indicate that there might have been a dogfighting operation there.
"It appeared the dogs were being conditioned for dogfighting purposes," he said.