One of the men, 53-year-old Orville Brian Nailer, was taken into custody near a bowling alley with “11 dogs in his vehicle,” officials said. The other suspect was identified as Michael Poole.
“One hundred and fifteen dogs were removed from a horrid situation, given medical treatment, and a ride to a new life,” the Walker County Sheriff’s Office posted Jan. 24 on Facebook. The county is northwest of Birmingham.
“That number doesn’t include those found already deceased, or the ones who were buried in the backyard at some point. ... Words can’t adequately describe the situation today on Maddox Road, but the hearts and hands of so many were out in full-force.”
Investigators say more than 70 dogs were in the Walker County yard and “30+ were found inside the residence.” Some of those found were puppies.
It was not revealed why the men had so many dogs. Photos released by the sheriff’s office show some of the dogs appeared to be starving.
Nailer faces 28 counts of second degree animal cruelty, and he also had an outstanding warrant when pulled over, officials said. The warrant was in connection with a charge of driving with a suspended license ticket, officials said.
“More charges are expected for both men,” the sheriff’s office said.
The home is in the county’s “Lupton/Prospect community,” officials said, and deputies discovered the animals while executing a search warrant related to complaints of animal cruelty.
Staff from the Birmingham Humane Society participated in the property search, and they described many of the dogs as being in “fragile” condition. The dogs will be put up for adoption when they are healthy enough to be released.
News of the discovery prompted thousands of responses on the sheriff’s office Facebook page, many from people who wondered if their long missing pets may have been recovered.
“Could some pics be posted for people that are desperately looking for their lost babies? A lot have come up missing and stolen in our area alone,” one woman wrote.
“I was wondering the same thing. My boxer went missing in 2016. Just disappeared,” another posted.