Five pit bulls that investigators say were starving are now in the hands of the Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control facility.
The owner of the dogs was once suspected of trying to burn to death 12 other pit bulls.
On September 2, 2011, Shady Grove firefighters found the 12 pit bulls while fighting the fire that a sheriff's spokesman says was designed to burn the dogs to death.
Firefighters had to use bolt cutters to break the chains and carry the dogs to safety.
Animal control officials took the dogs in to custody, but Judge Katrina Ross returned nine of the dogs to owner Denearious Mooney.
Today, 15 months after that incident, Mooney was in court to try to get a different group of pit bulls he owned back. These five dogs were seized by the same animal cruelty officers. This time, Judge Ross did not let Mooney get his dogs back.
When animal cruelty officers found one of the pit bulls, she was so little they thought she was a puppy. She's actually almost a year old and weighs 15 pounds now, but her vet says she should weigh a lot more.
Doctor Nicole Metcalf is the veterinarian for the Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control facility who is treating all five of the seized dogs.
"She's put on a lot of weight, but she still has a lot of sores [on her backside] from not having anything soft to lay on, so she's been on a blanket ever since she got here," Metcalf said.
Dr. Metcalf says the sores were much deeper when this female pit bull first arrived here.
She hopes that after all five are assessed for sociability with humans and other dogs that all five will be able to be adopted someday soon.
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