When police officers entered the backyard of a home in north Columbia, they found five pit bulls with no food or water, according to the Columbia Police Department. The dogs were emaciated. A veterinarian later examined the dogs and found that they ate dirt and tree bark to survive, a CPD spokesperson said in a statement.
Now a man is arrested and charged in connection with cruelty against the animals, CPD said.
Antonio Lorick is charged with five counts of ill treatment of animals, according to a statement by CPD. The police announced the arrest on Friday.
Lorick’s charges come after animal control officers in Columbia got a call about an animal cruelty complaint from the National Humane Society. CPD investigated in September and found the starved pit bulls.
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CPD is also searching for Antonio Burkett in connection with the animal cruelty incident. Police say, once found, Burkett will also be charged with ill treatment of animals.
In a separate incident, CPD investigated another Columbia residence in north Columbia after animal control officer responded to a complaint about dogs and their living condition. Officers found two adult pit bulls that they said the owner was not properly taking care of.
One of the dogs weighed 20.6 pounds and lived in a wooden crate with only a little room to move and no food or water, according to police. The pit bull had a logging chain around its neck that weighed more than half of the dog’s weight. Another dog on the property was found in a small enclosed space in a cage underneath the house. The second pit bull weighed 22.4 pounds, CPD said.
Joseph Harris was charged with two counts of ill treatment of animals after officers found the dogs.
The two dogs were taken in by the city’s of Columbia Animal Services and will be put up for adoption.
The accused men were taken to Alvin S. Glenn and booked. They were released on bond.