Hampton man arrested on 65 charges related to 21 dogs found dead in home

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HAMPTON, Va. - A 58-year-old Hampton man has been charged with 65 charges related to the discovery of 21 dogs found dead in a Hampton home.

According to court documents, 58-year-old Vernon Silver was taken into custody last night and charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty, 22 counts of failure to provide care, and 21 counts of failure to dispose of a deceased animal. A variety of dog-fighting evidence was also found at the property.

Hampton Police were called to a home on the 200 block of Pochin Place for a welfare check on Monday.

According to the criminal complaint, the only dog found alive inside the home was emaciated and confined to a pen filled with feces and urine, surrounded by several other canines who were deceased and decomposing, clearly deprived of food, adequate air flow, and required emergency veterinary treatment.

Vernon Silver

Documents say there were 21 other dogs, all pit bulls, deceased and decomposing, all appearing severely emaciated.

Most of the dogs had their eyes eaten out by maggots and were "liquefied in their cages."

Inside the property there was dog-fighting paraphernalia found, to include bite sticks and a spring pole.

There were also medications and syringes found for cows and horses inside the refrigerator, one specifically restricted for use by a licensed Veterinarian, and all consistent with medications used to heal wounds associated with dog fighting.

Court documents say there were also multiple powdered supplements often used to enhance muscle mass and growth, which are also consistent with dog-fighting.

Several envelopes left inside the home listed Silver's current address on Abbey Court.

After executing a search warrant at Silver's property, documents show that police found pedigrees, dog-fighting books and magazines.

When police brought Silver in fore questioning, according to documents, he said he purchased the dogs through various people and kept them at the Pochin Place property.

Silver told police that he fell ill about two weeks ago and was unable to walk.

He admitted to not seeking any help for the 22 dogs, leaving them unattended, not fed, or watered for 14 days.

He said he went back to the property on Sunday and fed the one remaining dog and then left, leaving the 21 deceased dogs in their cages.

Silver was arraigned in Hampton District Court on Thursday morning. He is in Hampton City Jail without bond.