Vernon Silver mugshot

Virginia man found with 21 dead dogs has a long history of animal cruelty

A Virginia man is facing 65 charges after officials uncovered 21 dead dogs in his Hampton home.

On Wednesday night, Vernon Silver, 58, was charged with 22 felony counts of animal cruelty, 22 misdemeanor counts of inadequate care of an animal by an owner, and 21 misdemeanor counts of disposal of dead companion animals. Police, who were called to the residence Monday due to an offensive smell, also found an emaciated female pit bull living in a pen full of feces and urine, according to the Daily Press.

Police and animal control officers identified six male and 10 female deceased pit bulls. According to court documents, five dogs were so decomposed that authorities had difficulty determining their sex.

Though court documents obtained by WAVY stated that authorities seized syringes and growth supplements, Hampton Police Public Information Officer Cpl. Ashley Jenrette didn’t confirm whether Silver is accused of dog fighting.

Silver apparently has a history of animal cruelty. WKTR reported that the 58-year-old was convicted of animal cruelty, to a pit bull, in 2007.

In 2014, authorities discovered 16 dogs standing in feces, mud, and urine. It was expected to rain for the next two days and Silver provided the canines with no shelter. Authorities also said the Hampton man housed four dogs in small crates where they couldn’t move. He was later found guilty of four counts of animal cruelty.

The Virginian-Pilot reported that Silver told police that he got dogs from different people but was unable to take care of them when he got sick two weeks ago and couldn’t walk. He also allegedly admitted that he didn’t feed the 22 dogs or give them water for almost two weeks.

The emaciated pit bull’s condition is unknown at this time. However, she is undergoing an “extensive screening process” to determine whether she can be adopted.

A felony animal cruelty charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.

[Feature Photo: Hampton Police]