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1 arrested for alleged animal cruelty

MANCHESTER — One man is facing multiple counts of cruelty to animals after deputies with the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office discovered 34 pit bulls in the backyard of a home in the 100 block of Chapel Hill Road.

Sherman Holt, 52, was arrested Friday as investigators executed a search warrant on his property, stated MCSO officials.

Deputies discovered adult pit bull dogs tied with large logging chains to car axels that were buried underground, said officials.

The dogs were in various stages of emaciation and covered in fleas, investigators said.

Deputies discovered two litters of pit bull puppies in a make shift kennel that was cramped and also covered in fleas, according to a news release.

Investigators entered Holt’s home and found a pit bull chained to a treadmill and being forced to walk. They also discovered a large, plastic drum filled with water with chains attached to both sides. Investigators stated the tank was used to make the dogs tread water.

Other items related to pit bull training and dog fighting were also found and seized from Holt’s property, MCSO officials stated.

Personnel from the LaGrange-Troup County Animal Control, Meriwether County Animal Control and other agencies took possession of all the animals at Holt’s home.

“… These pit bull dogs were seized and are being cared for by these animal control agencies,” Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith stated. “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.”

Holt was charged with 25 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, nine counts of felony aggravated cruelty to animals and one count of dog fighting, said Smith.

Holt has already bonded out of the Meriwether County Jail, officials stated.

Meriwether County Sheriff’s deputies found some of the pit bulls seized from the Manchester home chained to trees and other objects. The smaller dogs were discovered in cages.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/10/web1_dogs1.jpgMeriwether County Sheriff’s deputies found some of the pit bulls seized from the Manchester home chained to trees and other objects. The smaller dogs were discovered in cages.

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An animal control officer shows some of the injuries discovered on some of the pit bulls. Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Jones said items found at the home indicated training and dog fighting was also taking place there.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/10/web1_dogs2.jpgAn animal control officer shows some of the injuries discovered on some of the pit bulls. Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Jones said items found at the home indicated training and dog fighting was also taking place there.

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Dozens of pit bulls were found chained in various areas behind a home on Chapel Hill Road in Meriwether County. Other puppies were found in cages covered in fleas.

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/10/web1_dogs3.jpgDozens of pit bulls were found chained in various areas behind a home on Chapel Hill Road in Meriwether County. Other puppies were found in cages covered in fleas.

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MCSO: Items found at home also indicated dog fighting

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.