MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida man was arrested Tuesday on animal cruelty charges after Animal Services officials received an anonymous tip regarding the treatment of his 31 dogs.
According to an arrest report, Miami-Dade police and Animal Services agents went to the home of Derrick Williams, 26, in the 1700 block of Northwest 78th Street.
Police said a brown and white female terrier mix that seemed to be malnourished and underweight was immediately spotted at the home, as well as a gray and white female terrier mix that seemed to be in the same condition.
Authorities said Williams then arrived at the home and told officers that he was the owner of all the animals at the residence.
According to the arrest report, several dogs were found inside the home and appeared to be living in unsanitary conditions.
Police said the dogs had no access to food and water and were locked in cages. A dead puppy was also found wrapped in several blankets with flies surrounding it, the report stated.
Authorities said more dogs were found in the backyard of the home, also with no food or water.
Police said some of the dogs were locked in cages full of feces and urine and others were forced to lay on the hot cement with no shelter.
According to the arrest report, a total of 19 adult dogs and 12 puppies were found at the home and taken to a shelter by Animal Services investigators.
Neighbors told Local 10 News reporter Saira Anwer they were shocked by Williams' arrest, saying they frequently saw him feeding and bathing the dogs.
"Some were better than others and that's part of what they're doing right now is caring for them, getting them hydrated and getting rid of their heartworms," Erik Hofmeyer, of Miami-Dade Animal Services, said.
Williams was arrested on charges of animal cruelty, animal cruelty with intent to kill or injure and confining an animal without providing food, water or exercise.