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Dead and Sick Dogs Found in East Columbus Home

COLUMBUS (Lisa Rantala/Kate Liebers) -- A Columbus dog breeder faced multiple animal cruelty charges Tuesday after investigators said they found two dead pit bulls in his backyard.

Officials said found 17 other animals on the property after pulling them from a feces-infested basement. Some were transported to the Capital Area Humane Society and others to Franklin County Animal Country.

Two dogs found frozen to the ground outside could not be saved.

The surviving animals were underweight, under-socialized and abused. At least one animal had protruding ribs. Another was missing part of its ear.

Neighbors reportedly complained about the owner, Terry Hicks, two weeks ago.

"He's turning his home into a residential kennel -- breeding dog and selling them for profit," Humane Society agent Kerry Manion said. 

Hicks could face more than 20 charges revolving around the dogs' suffering, which includes severe respiratory infections, ear infections, bite wounds, broken teeth and malnourishment. Some animals were at least 40 percent underweight, officers said.

Hicks surrendered his animals in court. An arraignment hearing was scheduled for next month.

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