34 dogs seized, 1 arrested in Meriwether Co. animal cruelty case

MORE DETAILS: 34 dogs seized, 1 arrested in Meriwether Co. animal cruelty case
Published: Oct. 31, 2016 at 11:51 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2016 at 1:33 PM EDT
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(Source: Meriwether County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Meriwether County Sheriff's Office)
Sherman Holt. (Source: Meriwether County Jail)
Sherman Holt. (Source: Meriwether County Jail)

MERWETHER COUNTY, GA (WTVM) – A Manchester man was arrested for dog fighting and animal cruelty on Friday, Oct. 28.

According to a report, a patrol deputy responded to the area of Chapel Hill Road in Manchester, GA concerning to a call for service concerning a subject walking a small pit bull dog down the road dragging a large chain. The chain was reportedly tied or hooked around the dog's neck.

The deputy patrol came into contact with Sherman Holt and he attempted to conceal the dog from direct view. The dog appeared to be emaciated and the deputy documented that the ribs and backbone of the pit bull were visible.

Further investigation revealed sufficient evidence and probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant for Sherman Holt for the offense of cruelty to animals along with a search warrant for the 100 block of Chapel Hill Road.

On Friday, Oct. 28, the search warrant was executed at Holt's residence and he was taken into custody. Deputies also located a pit bull dog that was chained to a treadmill being forced to walk.

In the rear of the residence spanning several acres, officials located 34 pit bull dogs in various stages of emaciation. These pit bulls were invested with fleas and most of the adult dogs were chained to car axles that were buried in the ground by large logging chains. Two litters of pit bull puppies were located in a makeshift kennel that was cramped and also covered in fleas.

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A large plastic drum filled with chains attached to both sides was also found which was used to make the canines tread water. Other items were located at the scene related to pit bull training and dog fighting.

The Meriwether County Animal Control, LaGrange Animal Control, Fayette County Animal Control and the Macon- Bibb County Animal Control Departments assisted in this investigation.

"We were also assisted by the Meriwether County District Attorney's Office through this investigative process. These pit bull dogs were seized and are being cared for by these animal control agencies. Without their assistance throughout this process, it would have made our job very difficult. I am very thankful for their assistance and the help that they provided and continue to provide us in this case investigation. All of our personnel and supporting agencies have done an outstanding job in this case," said Meriwether County's Sheriff Chuck Smith.

Holt, 52, was taken to the Meriwether County Jail and charged with one count of dog fighting, 25 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and nine counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals. His bond was set at $112,500.

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