NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - When Deputy Janice Covil and Deputy Brandon Parker responded to a barking dog complaint on the north end of the county they did not expect that call would end in one of the most disturbing sights either had seen.
They noticed there was no food or water for a litter of puppies and other dogs at the house. Only a bucket and a kiddie pool provided hydration and both were overgrown with algae and reeked of urine.
"There was dog feces all over the driveway, scattered on the porch and there was one dog walking in its own feces because it didn't have enough room to move," Parker described.
The owner was given specific orders to follow-up with Animal Services once he made changes, but he never called. A search warrant was taken out. When officials returned, the puppies were gone.
The deputies noticed a fresh path beaten down in the tall grass behind the house. It led back into the woods where there was evidence of dogs being tied up.
Officer Watson noticed a fallen down structure and went to inspect. Underneath the decaying roof he spotted a plastic dog food bag that looked newly placed.
The puppies were inside. Dead.
The owner was called but suddenly became hard to reach. He was now in Pender County.
Hours passed until the sun set and his car finally came up the driveway. He arrived seeming indifferent if not irritated to the situation.
Deputies handed him the search warrant and after several stern demands, he finally began leading everyone back to where the puppies were - straight to the bag.
"What bothered me the most about that was, Parker and Covil had tried to make contact with that guy for several days," said Croom. "He could have given us the puppies and we could maybe have saved them but he acted like it wasn't a big deal - just a puppy."
Jonathan Wade Tyler was given eight cruelty to animal charges and 11 misdemeanors. His girlfriend Samantha Boggs was also charged with a misdemeanor.
The bag was brought back to the shelter for evidence collection. The officers had to fill their noses with menthol rub to block out the stench. Inside they found eight puppies that matched the description of the missing animals.