UPDATE: Dozens of animals rescued from Dalton home linked to Cleveland dog trainer
UPDATE: Cleveland police have closed their case against Steven Kinder, the man who was facing several animal cruelty charges.
But investigators with the Dalton Police Department say their case is still open against Kinder after finding dozens of animals inside his home.
"It was pretty intense, just the odor and some of the living conditions that some of these animals were in," said Lt. Matthew Locke with the Dalton Police Department.
Locke says in his 23 years in law enforcement, he's never seen anything like what he witnessed at the home of the former animal trainer.
"It was a heartbreaking situation to see not only the conditions that they were living in, but to know that those animals hadn't been fed and hadn't been outside of those crates in quite some time," he told Channel 3.
The found dozens of animals in horrible living conditions inside Kinder's Dalton residence.
"There were a couple of small goats, 16 dogs, there were several turtles, two of which were still alive, there were snakes," said Dalton Police Spokesman Bruce Frazier.
Some of the animals found were dead when investigators arrived to search the home as a part of a second animal cruelty investigation into Kinder.
"They could see that most of the dogs and other animals there just seemed like they were just very malnourished. They were basically living in their own feces and waste. Some of the dogs had their fur matted with just waste," Frazier explained.
But he says this sad story did have somewhat of a safe ending for the animals with help from animal rescue groups and a few officers who volunteered to take some of the animals in.
"The process of getting these animals to safety was pretty quick," Frazier said.
Lt. Locke was one of those officers. He adopted the two goats.
"I said 'hey, I can take them and I'd be more than willing to take care of them'," Locke recalled.
Another officer adopted the two turtles.
"The animals have been rescued, they've been taken out of a situation where they were in bad shape and in a bad place, and they've all been basically taken to safety. We're very hopeful that they're all going to be able to return to health," Frazier added.
Locke says the 8 week-old goats are doing fine and he and his family are doing everything they can to ensure they have what they need.
As of now, Frazier says no charges have been filed against any of the residents living inside Kinder's home including his wife.
Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Dalton police found a number of different animals in the Dalton home that were allegedly under the care of Stephen Kinder.
Channel 3 has learned there were 16 dogs, 2 baby goats, 2 turtles, a snake and 9 ducks in what has been called 'unlivable' conditions.
A dead turtle and several dead snakes were also found at the home.
Dalton police say their investigation is still underway, but no charges have been filed.
PREVIOUS STORY: Dalton police are investigating a report of animal cruelty that may be linked to the recent case of Stephen Kinder, the Cleveland dog trainer who was charged with four counts of animal cruelty.
Kinder fatally shot himself Thursday.
Dalton police were dispatched February 3 to the parking lot of Red Lobster after the person met Kinder to retrieve her dog, according to Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier.
The woman had sent the dog to Kinder, and when the dog was returned, she told police the dog had lost a significant amount of weight and was vomiting.
According to Frazier, Kinder told the officer that the dog had lost weight because it had been exercising more than usual.
The case was then referred to Cleveland police since Kinder's dog training business was based there.
The Dalton part of the investigation continued and police Department later served a search warrant at a home on Mattie Street after receiving information that some of the animals from Kinder's Tennessee business were being housed in Dalton.
There, investigators found dozens of animals in poor health suffering from apparent neglect and living in horrible conditions. The animals were rescued from the home.
The Whitfield County Animal Shelter worked with various animal rescue groups to find housing for the animals, who have all been safely placed with shelters or homes in Georgia.
The investigation is underway.