A man was arrested after police found out that his pet dogs were surviving in “terrible” conditions and were suffering from diseases. The event took place in Charleston County, South Carolina, on Monday.

A 54-year-old man, Donnie Wayne Gilliard, was arrested by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for keeping his pets under dreadful conditions and was charged with two counts of ill-treatment of animals. His bond was set at $30,000. The dogs were shifted to Charleston Animal Society.

The investigation initially began after a lady reported a stray dog in her backyard. The officer addressing the issue noticed that the dog was extremely bony, had sores all over the body and had overgrown toe-nails. The dog was later understood to be a three-year-old Staffordshire mix named “King”. The investigators contacted the owners and found out that the dogs were sold to Gilliard.

The police officers confronted the suspect and found two more dogs, a brown and white pit bull mix along with a female pit bull mix, outside his house. Both dogs were tied up and were served rotten food. A deputy officer stated in a report that the dogs had attempted to escape by chewing their leash but were unsuccessful and their condition was “horrible”. He added that King had “multifocal scars on her neck and all four paws more likely from insect bites and self-induced damage from scratching.”

The sheriff’s office later revealed that the brown and white pit bull mix had hookworms due to the filthy living conditions and lack of medical attention. The other two dogs were found to have heartworms.

Representational image of a man in handcuffs.