Police: 9 pitbulls found severely abused in man's yard

Published: Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:49 PM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2013 at 10:19 PM EDT
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The home where the dogs were discovered.
The home where the dogs were discovered.
The dogs did not have any food.
The dogs did not have any food.
A total of nine dogs were found in the backyard.
A total of nine dogs were found in the backyard.

BARDSTOWN KY (WAVE) - Nine dogs were discovered hurt and mistreated in a crime that sickened police.

John C. Lewis returned to his Bardstown home Monday to find a troop of police officers combing his property.

Bardstown Police Department Captain Tom Roby said the case originated with a call. Everyone could hear the noise coming from Lewis' backyard in the 100 block of Hagan Drive.

"When he arrived he could immediately hear dogs yelping and barking," explained Roby.

Roby explained what they could not see over the phone was far more disturbing than all the noise, "Skin torn away, flesh torn out, part of the ear removed, scars all over their face, punctured intestines."

Roby said it was a crime that will stay with him, "Animal cruelty is out of the norm and when you see it it's pretty shocking. It stays with you."

The dogs had no food, a problem Roby and his officers worked quickly to solve, "Officer Wright located some food and began feeding the dogs cause they seemed malnourished and they were starving."

While the scene of the crime was shocking, in Kentucky it is actually seen too often. For the sixth straight year in a row Kentucky can claim a title no one wants to take. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national rights law organization, ranks Kentucky's animal protection laws as inadequate, almost non-existent.

"No one wants to see an animal suffer or abused," said Roby. "If people in this area are involved in this we want to target them and we want to go after them. So hopefully people will call."

Animal lovers and activists in Kentuckiana not only want the cruelty and abuse reported to the law, but also to see government officials in the state.

In total nine dogs were found in Lewis' yard. One was injured so severely he was euthanized on the spot by a veterinarian that was called in. The eight surviving dogs are being treated.

Lewis is facing 10 counts of animal cruelty. Nelson County police are continuing to investigating the case.

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