LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — Pinellas County deputies arrested a man Saturday morning after they said they found 33 dogs and two children in his home who may have been abused and neglected.
Deputies said around 10:20 a.m. Saturday they received a complaint about several dogs barking at a house on North 119th Street in the unincorporated part of Largo.
Upon arrival, deputies heard the dogs barking and met Terrell Coley, 38, in his garden. There they saw “a large amount of handmade wooden kennels”, which had 33 pit bull terriers of varying ages, according to a statement.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said four of the dogs were injured when they were found. Deputies said the dogs may have been used for a dogfighting ring, judging by the conditions of the dogs and the dogfighting equipment found at the house.
Two children under the age of 14 were also found inside the house. Deputies said the two children were believed to be in Coley’s care, but had no food or drink.
An affidavit said the children were also at risk of animal abuse, with their bedroom 20 feet from “many piles of dog feces, 2 malnourished dogs and five puppies.
Deputies said while searching for food they also found cocaine, several firearms and ammunition. They also said “a large amount of white powder” was found and taken for testing.
Coley was charged with two counts of child neglect, four counts of aggravated animal cruelty, 29 counts of animal cruelty, two counts of felony possession of a firearm, one count possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and one count of possession of cocaine.