HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A Hickory man is accused of 33 counts of animal cruelty, as well as drug violations and a firearms charge after police found 30 dogs inside a vacant business building.
Daniel Pride was arrested Wednesday afternoon. A passerby spotted his car at the abandoned building on 7th Avenue Place Wednesday morning. That passerby thought the building was empty and that the vehicle being there was suspicious.
When police arrived they found the dogs inside. Most were pitbull breeds, ranging from small puppies to full grown adult dogs. Veterinarian Technician Kelly Essam checked the animals as they were removed from the building.
"There are old bite marks, fresh bite marks and infections," she said.
She also believed most were dehydrated and malnourished. There was a small space heater inside but police said temperatures were cold and dogs huddled together when they went to retrieve them.
As to what the animals were there for, authorities are not sure yet. Essam says the bite marks are "classic signs of fighting."
Police are still looking into the case. The dogs were taken to the animal shelter in Newton where they are being housed and evaluated. No determination has been made if they will be up for adoption.