ROUGEMONT, N.C. (WTVD) -- An Orange County man is facing 40 counts of felony dog fighting after the sheriff's office seized 30 dogs from a home in Rougemont.
The dogs were seized from 9316 Hwy 57 in Rougemont. Daniel Isiah Crew Jr., 41, is currently in custody at the Person County Detention Center.
Last Friday, investigators executed a search warrant at the property and confiscated several items including portions of a dog-fighting pit, documents and records relating to the animals, and treadmills used to exercise the dogs.
Orange County Sheriff's Office Investigator Dawn Hunter explained the condition those animals were found in.
"Some of the dogs had injuries where their ears had been cut, they were missing some teeth. Some of them had been missing some toes. They had puncture wounds throughout their neck, through their body," Hunter said.
While Hunter has worked animal abuse cases, this is the first dogfighting case she's worked.
"It was very sad to see the dogs in the condition they were in," she said.
She added charges are likely coming against other people believed to be involved in the dogfighting. As for Crew, Jr., authorities believe the alleged abuse has been going on for years.
"Daniel (Crew, Jr.) has been doing this since 2012. But... I feel like he's been doing it longer," said Hunter.
Since being seized, they have been cared for by staff at Orange County Animal Services.
"It's very challenging to deal with seizures of this kind for our staff," said Bob Marotto, the Orange County Animal Services Director.
Marotto said the future for these dogs is still not known.
With charges being filed, the owner will have 4-6 weeks to post a bond on the dogs or relinquish them.
If they are relinquished to Orange County Animal Services, they will consult with an expert to examine how each dog would adapt to a family, other animals and the community.
"We will continue to assess what it is we can do with these dogs, and we will hopefully find some very happy outcomes," said Marotto.
For those interested in helping, Marotto noted this is Volunteer Week. To learn more about opportunities, click here. To learn more about making a donation, click here.