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Broward man arrested after 4 dozen malnourished dogs found in deplorable conditions

Broward man held after over 4 dozen dogs found in deplorable conditions
Broward man held after over 4 dozen dogs found in deplorable conditions 02:07

FORT LAUDERDALE  -- A Broward County man was arrested and is facing charges after animal welfare officials on Thursday removed four dozen canines from his Dania Beach home that was full of pet feces and animal urine, according to the arrest report. 

Raymond Ledbetter, 62, was charged with false imprisonment, battery and 48 counts each of animal cruelty along with unlawful confinement of animals, the Broward County Sheriff's Office arrest report says. 

Ledbetter was being held Friday evening on $74,000 bond. 


"The defendant intentionally caused unnecessary pain and/or suffering to several dogs that were confined within his property," investigators wrote.

Raymond Ledbetter
Raymond Ledbetter Broward County Sheriff's Office

Law enforcement officials originally went to Ledbetter's home on Thursday to investigate reports of domestic violence against his wife, who is unable to care for herself, deputies said.

When investigators went to the man's home, they discovered dozens of shepherd or collie-mix dogs who were malnourished, nearly all in need of immediate medical care.

Officials also reported finding the remains of one dog who had apparently been eaten by another dog, the arrest form says.

The dogs were trying to exit the home through a crack between the door and the door frame when the deputy arrived at the home, according to the arrest report.

Investigators said there was no food or water for the animals that were found inside the home. And one of the dogs was in such poor condition, it had to be euthanized, investigators said.  

Officials say that although they rescued 48 dogs, 10 additional canines were unable to removed because they were "inside the walls of the house," the investigator wrote. 

Officials told CBS News Miami the dogs had chewed through the wall in order to find a place to hide.

 Investigators said the dogs would be treated and then placed for adoption.

News of Ledbetter's arrest and the discovery of what was happening inside the home shocked residents, who said the man was known to yell at neighbors.

"This was going on for how many years?" said resident Suzy Marie. "And 60? How do you accumulate 60 dogs without anybody even knowing you're bringing them in the house?"

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