HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- 58-year-old Vernon Silver, the Hampton man facing more than 60 charges, including felony cruelty to animals, heard evidence presented against him in court Wednesday.
Angela Taylor, an animal control officer, took the stand to describe what she saw when she went inside the home. Taylor described flies throughout the house, a layer of urine and feces and dead dogs locked inside cages.
Taylor said the dogs were in various stages of decay, with four decomposed so badly that they "looked like mush" and were a "black and a tar-like" substance. She added there was no water or food found within the home.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Anton Bell said his office plans on pursuing one dog fighting charge and potentially more charges as the case moves to circuit court.
“There's really not many words that you can use to describe what these dogs clearly have gone through to die of malnutrition or starvation,” said Bell. “It’s truly awful.”
According to court documents, dog-fighting paraphernalia, medications associated with dog-fighting, powdered supplements used to enhance muscle growth, and much more were found inside the home.
The property owner confirmed with police that Silver was the maintenance worker for the property and the sole key owner.
Back in April, Bell stressed the fact they have never worked on a case as serious as this one in Hampton, which is why they plan to prosecute this case very aggressively.