Meriwether County Sheriff Chuck Smith reported that his agency has made an arrest related to an investigation into an animal cruelty complaint that his agency conducted. Due to the nature of the investigation several other animal control agencies were brought in to assist with this case investigation.
“On October 27, 2016 one of our patrol deputies responded to the area of Chapel Hill Road, Manchester, Ga. in reference to a call for service concerning a subject walking a small pit bull dog down the road dragging a large chain. The chain was reportedly tied or hooked around the dog’s neck. Our patrol deputy upon arrival to the area made contact with a subject identified as Sherman Holt. As our deputy initiated contact with Holt he attempted to conceal the dog from direct view. Upon our deputy conducting his initial investigation into the complaint and observing the dog it appeared to be emaciated. The deputy was able to document that the ribs and backbone of the pit bull were visible. Our Deputy was able to document the appearance of the pit bull through photographic evidence. He then forwarded his findings to our investigative division along with animal control.
Through further investigation into this matter our investigators were able to develop sufficient evidence and probable cause to obtain an arrest warrant for Sherman Holt for the offense of cruelty to animals along with a search warrant for 186 Chapel Hill Road, Manchester, Ga.
On October 28, 2016 our investigators and patrol deputies executed the search warrant at 186 Chapel Hill Road, Manchester, Ga. Upon executing the search warrant at the residence our units were able to take Sherman Holt into custody as he walked around from the rear of the residence. Upon our personnel making entry into the residence they located a pit bull dog that was chained to a treadmill being forced to walk. In the rear of the residence spanning several acres our personnel located 34 pit bull dogs in various stages of emaciation. These pit bulls were infested with fleas and most of the adult dogs were chained to car axles that were buried in the ground by large logging chains. Two litters of pit bull puppies were located in a make shift kennel that was cramped and also covered in fleas. We also located a large plastic drum filled with water with chains attached to both sides. Based on the investigation this tank was used to make the canines tread water. There were other items located at the scene related to pit bull training and dog fighting.
We were assisted in this investigation by the Meriwether County Animal Control, LaGrange Animal Control, Fayette County Animal Control and the Macon- Bibb County Animal Control Departments. We were also assisted by the Meriwether County District Attorney’s Office through this investigative process. These pit bull dogs were seized and are being cared for by these animal control agencies. Without their assistance throughout this process it would have made our job very difficult. I am very thankful for their assistance and the help that they provided and continue to provide us in this case investigation. All of our personnel and supporting agencies have done an outstanding job in this case.” Sheriff Chuck Smith stated.
Sherman Holt, B/M, 52 years of age of Chapel Hill Road, Manchester, Ga. was transported to the Meriwether County Jail and charged with one count of Dog Fighting, twenty-five counts of misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals and nine counts of felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals. Bond was set at $112,500.00.