Five had injuries and later were euthanized, officials said.
Jordan J. Ross, 19, of El Dorado, was arrested after being charged with aggravated robbery for a different incident on Feb. 17. El Dorado police and Union County Animal Control officers investigated and connected Ross to an incident report filed in late December 2016.
In a wooded area to the left of the residence, Hartsell said he expected to find some scarred dogs, but instead found six pit bulls, five male and one female, chained with fresh wounds; some had ears cut off.
“I saw the pictures of the dogs, they were all tore to pieces,” 35th District Court Jack Barker said during the first appearance court on Wednesday.
After identifying that the dogs belonged to Ross, Hartsell said he took the pit bulls with intent to rehabilitate them.
“We put them in the pound, put out a Facebook post, and started taking donations. We wanted to see if we could adopt some out, but it just wasn’t going to happen. We had to euthanize all but one,” he said.
Hartsell said he suspected that the dogs were stolen from other homes in the area.
In 2016, police had three reports connected to Ross allegedly stealing pit bulls for dog fights, some dated back to January. In August, police and animal control officers visited his house on the 700 block of Smith Street, they talked wih Ross’ relatives and asked to search the premises.
“We saw that he was caring for a puppy when he wasn’t supposed to,” Hartsell said.
Police tried arresting Ross for possession of an animal, but he ran from authorities and later was charged with fleeing.
Based on the seriousness of the crime, Ross’ prior arrest for fleeing, his charges for aggravated robbery, and the number of dogs involved, Barker agreed with State Prosecutor Greg Thomas’ suggested $25,000 cash or corporate surety bond for the five counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal.
He is being held on cash or corporate surety bonds totaling $50,000, half for aggravated robbery and half for the animal cruelty charges.
One of the found pit bulls is still alive and animal control officers are looking out for it.
Two other local men were arrested for similar criminal activity, Darrell L. Love, 33, and Charles Taylor, 30.
“Hopefully with three guys off the street, maybe people behind all this will slow down,” Hartsell said. “But we still have alot to do.”
(El Dorado News - March 9, 2017)