JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Officers with Animal Care and Protective services were seen Thursday removing 17 dogs from a home in the Murray Hill neighborhood, taking them into protective custody.
Their removal comes nearly three weeks after police arrested Eric Davis, 48. Authorities said the investigation began as an animal complaint that led to a welfare check of the dogs that were on the property.
According to his arrest report, Davis posted videos of himself on Facebook cropping the ears of pit bulls with a pair of scissors while the dogs were strapped down on a wooden plank.
The report states that some of the puppies were awake and not sedated during the procedure. Investigators noted in the report that some of the animals were whimpering and crying through the ordeal.
Jim Crosby is a retired Jacksonville police officer who is now one of the nation’s leading experts on animal cruelty investigations.
“It would be like doing surgery on one of your friends or family without using a doctor or using anesthesia or any proper procedures,” Crosby said. “It’s got to be incredibly painful for these dogs.”
The arrest report also states that Davis is not only heard in the videos stating that he owns the dogs, but also appeared to be soliciting ear cropping and invited anyone who needed it done on their dog to contact him.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, ear cropping a pit bull does not add any health benefit to the dog even though it is legal in the U.S., but under strict guidelines to protect the animal.
“There are a number of countries in which ear cropping for any dog is unlawful because it’s a medical procedure that is unnecessary,” Crosby said.
Davis was released from jail on bond. Neither Davis nor his wife wished to speak with News4JAX.
Records show that two years ago, Davis was cited for having more than five unsterilized dogs on his property. He was also cited for not making sure all the dogs were vaccinated. Three years ago, Davis was cited for improperly tethering multiple animals with metal chains.