Hillsborough County Animal Services says workers rescued 18 dogs that were being trained to fight by a man in Wimauma.
Investigators say they were found in their own excrement, baking in the Florida sun in tiny cages.
The dogs were living in chains.
"No food or water, no shelter, no way to escape the sun, pretty much deplorable for an animal to have to live that way," said Cpl. Ken Vetzel, an animal services investigator.
They arrested 34-year-old Allen Deshon Brown. They suspect he was training the dogs to sell for illegal fights around the county.
He'll face two animal cruelty charges, which does not surprise people in the neighborhood.
"He'd have them running," said one. "Pulling stuff, like weights or something."
Investigators say they busted Brown because of an anonymous tip, but that he may have been supplying others in the county breeding and practicing dogfighting.
Vetzel said it's a persistent problem, though not necessarily one carried out by an organized ring.
"You take two off the street and three more show up," said Vetzel. "It is profitable to the people that are involved in it. I don't know what the answer is."
The dogs will be cleaned, calmed down and nursed back to health so they can be adopted into homes where they'll be taught to love, not fight.
"That's why I do my job every day, because there is people like Mr. Brown that are out there, that are career criminals, they make a living, and in this case he was making a living off the backs of these dogs," Vetzel said.
Brown faces four charges related to dog fighting and he's being held without bond.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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