By Jay Meisel
PORT ST. LUCIE - When investigators visited a Port St. Lucie house in July they found four pitbulls suffering from malnutrition and various injuries, according to an arrest affidavit.
One of the dogs, Lady, was euthanized because of its condition, the affidavit said.
The owner of the dogs, Michael Hill, 32, 2219 S.E. Morningside, Port St. Lucie, was arrested Aug. 16 and charged with four counts of animal cruelty.
The situation leading to his arrest was not the first time he was investigated on charges of animal cruelty or neglect, the affidavit said.
Animal control had responded 30 times to the same address since 2002, the affidavit said.
Of those, 15 involved how the animals were being kept and 10 of those complaints were valid, the affidavit said.
In four cases, including the latest, animals had to be removed from the property, the affidavit said.
Two animals were also removed on Sept. 2, 2011, the affidavit said.
"Within the case history, each member of the household was explained proper animal care and keeping and advised that they could be held responsible for the animals' care," the affidavit.
When investigators went to the property they found Bucky, a male pitbull, Blacky, a male pitbull, Lady Jr., a female pitbull and Lady, a female pitbull, the affidavit said.
Lady, the dog in the worst condition, had a body index score of one out of 10 and had part of its right lip and left ear missing, a non-treated fractured right leg that was not functional and possible infections, the affidavit said.
"Due to the horrible condition of the dog accompanied by the numerous medical issues, the veterinarian saw no alternative, but to recommend euthanasia to end her suffering," the affidavit said.
The condition of the other dogs, according to the affidavit, were:
. Bucky had a body index of three of 10, an injured leg with a 1-inch laceration and several other wounds.
. Lady Jr. was emaciated with a body index of two out of 10 and multiple wounds, including one on the left ear base and others on the head and legs.
. Blacky had a body index of three to four out of 10 and numerous wounds.
The affidavit noted the dogs were tethered in a way where they had little room for movement and no water was provided for Blacky.