Man arrested after police find more than 100 dogs chained to trees

Image 1 of 22

An additional 35 dogs were found malnourished and chained to trees behind a Cedartown home, according to the Polk County Police Department.

"We got an anonymous tip that led us to this home off Puckett Road," Polk County Police Chief Kenneth Dodd said. "We found 35 dogs that belong to Mr. Rowland."

The discovery made 24 hours after Devechio Rowland was arrested for 70 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

"We charged him after we found 70 dogs Monday who were also malnourished and tied to trees behind a home on Cash Town Road in Aragon," Chief Dodd said. "We are now processing two scenes."

Chief Dodd told FOX 5 Rowland is facing additional charges.

"He says these are his pets...100 dogs," Dodd said. "I don't treat my dogs like this."

Chief Dodd said the dogs at both locations were in pretty bad shape.

Tuesday the Polk County Police Department posted a live video on Facebook showing multiple animal rescue groups beginning the process of getting the dogs out of the woods and taking them to shelters.

"It's sickening to know someone could do this to animals, but it's also encouraging after you see how many people came out here to help," Dodd said.

According to Dodd, this isn't Rowland's first time behind bars on similar charges.

"We arrested him in 2010 on more than 120 charges of dog fighting and animal cruelty," Dodd said. "I don't think he was ever convicted."

The chief said besides finding a safe place for the animals to go in coming days, the department's number one priority is ensuring Rowland's conviction this time around.

"Justice wasn't served, so we are going to do everything we can to make sure this time justice is served," Dodd said.