LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) – Police have arrested a Lakeland man after officers say they found his dogs so malnourished that they were eating one another.
Lakeland police say Genar Smith, 54, was in possession of five pit-bulls that were “deprived of sustenance” after officers responded to an animal complaint at his home on 12th Street West.
The officer who responded to Smith’s home says he found two dogs chained to the ground, three in a medium-sized cage, and one in a large cage. One of the dogs in the medium cage was dead, the officer said, with most of its neck and skull eaten by the other two dogs.
The dogs were “considerably malnourished” with their rib cages and hip bones clearly visible due to starvation. One of the dogs found alive in the medium cage also had part of its tail bitten off.
The officer also observed no food or water in any of the bowls. There was no overhead cover to protect the animals from the elements, the officer noted.
Smith told officers he would feed the dogs a mixture of dog food, rice and beans, and ensure they had water every day. He admitted he had never taken the dogs to a veterinarian.
When asked about the deceased dog found in the medium cage, Smith allegedly told officers that he thought the dog died of Parvo the night prior. Animal control officers on-scene told police they believed the dog was killed by the other two pit-bulls due to starvation.
Smith is charged with felony cruelty to an animal. The conditions of the five pit-bulls observed by animal control is unknown at this time.