BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Two people are now facing cruelty charges after four dogs were seized during a narcotics arrest. None of the dogs were properly registered, so investigators are still working to determine who is responsible for their condition.
The investigation began Tuesday, June 27 when officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department executed a narcotics search warrant at a home on McClelland Street. During the search they found 4 dogs tied up with heavy chains in the backyard.
The report says the dogs had "leaking open wounds that were swollen" and the dogs did not have "adequate food, water or shelter."
Police first arrested Ridarian Fleming after they say he claimed ownership of the dogs. Two of the four dogs were not found to be in well enough condition to be released to the proper owner. That's when officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control and say Whitney West tried to claim the dogs.
According to the probable cause report, West told Animal Control agents she was the owner of the two dogs.
"...one of the dogs [West] was claiming ownership of had obviously been fought and was badly injured to the point where it could barely walk," notes the officer in the report. "[West] further stated that she knew the dog had been injured for approximately three weeks, but refused to take him to the vet due to the fact that she thought they would have suspected her of dog fighting and called the Police."
The report claims West told the officer she tried to medicate the dog herself, but "the dog's body condition [continued] to deteriorate over the past week to the point he stopped eating."
West was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals. She was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison where she is being held in lieu of a $15,000 bond.
Officials did not say what relationship West has with Fleming, who was inside the home listed as West's primary residence. In the report related to Fleming's arrest, the officer noted that Fleming knew drugs were being sold out of the home, but did not say whether or not he was living at the address.
Fleming was also booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. In addition to animal cruelty, he is charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. His bond is set at $30,000.