Matthew Trenton Leeth, 29 of Alexander County, North Carolina is in serious trouble after he was reportedly charged with 20 counts of felony animal cruelty, and an additional 20 counts of misdemeanor animal neglect.
According to a police report I obtained, Leeth, who billed himself on an online classified listing service as the “best trainer in town,” was questioned by police after someone visited a warehouse, leased by him. The anonymous tipster called police after she witnessed several dogs through a window, in grave looking condition, and one pup who appeared to be deceased alongside a cockatoo, and a quail.
Police soon descended on the address and questioned Leeth extensively, before he allowed them to take a tour of the facility, where they were greeted with horrors, that compelled them to arrest Leeth immediately.
Leeth, who claims to be a “professionally certified” dog trainer billed himself on an online classified listing service as the “best in town.” Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman begs to differ, calling Leeth’s neglect of animals in his possession “callous,” explaining in a press release:
“It’s just uncalled for. They starved to death. There was no food or water for them for at least seven to ten days.”
Leeth told the arresting officers that his “employees” were tasked with keeping the dogs at the training facility “safe, and well fed” and that they should be the ones in custody and not him. Officers weren’t buying it and respectfully asked him to duck his head as he was placed in the back of a police cruiser.
At the time of this writing, an Alexander County judge has placed Leeth on a $200,000 dollar bond, pending his next court appearance. If convicted on all charges, Leeth could receive from 15 to 20 years in prison.