Oct. 27—EDITOR'S NOTE — This story contains graphic detail of animal abuse, and may not be suitable for all readers.
OLIVET — A rural Olivet man is facing 48 animal abuse charges plus other miscellaneous drug violations after a search warrant uncovered a dozens of animals suffering from malnourishment, flea infestations and other cruel conditions.
Damond Baldwin, 40, was charged with 48 counts of animal abuse, keeping a place for use/sale of a controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia after an Oct. 21 search warrant brought the conditions of his property to light.
Upon execution of a search warrant, authorities say they discovered 48 living dogs and puppies and at least two deceased dogs.
An arrest affidavit says the animals were in various stages of malnourishment and starvation, and many of the dogs had "their ribs and bones showing through their skin."
"Many of the dogs had open wounds and scarring, some of which possibly appeared to be dog bites," the affidavit reads. "Animal control officers did not locate any food readily available to the dogs, and very few water dishes that were accessible."
Court documents say one package of food was found on the property, but was covered in mold.
As officers continued to sweep the property, they say animals were missing fur due to flea infestations, while others had open wounds and were actively bleeding. Another animal was appeared to have recently died and was "torn open from what appeared to be an animal eating on it.
"Most of the adult dogs were chained up with large log chains/ropes outside in areas of minimal shelter, if any at all," the affidavit reads.
When officers entered the residence, they say they located more puppies in a bathroom that were "extremely malnourished," and found crushed up methamphetamine, a "straw type pipe" and other paraphernalia in other parts of the house.
A woman inside the residence allegedly told police that multiple people use the house to ingest methamphetamine.
Each of Baldwin's 48 counts of animal abuse in South Dakota is a Class 1 misdemeanor — each charge is punishable by up to one year in prison, a $2,000 fine or both.
As of Monday afternoon, Baldwin also had charges currently pending for grand theft, drug and firearm violations and eluding in other South Dakota counties.
An initial court date has not yet been set for Baldwin's animal abuse and drug charges.
Source : https://news.yahoo.com/ribs-bones-showing-skin-olivet-040100839.html426