An Iowa City man is facing animal neglect charges after authorities found five pitbulls, covered with scars, inside a trailer with no food or water. Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies were sent to the trailer on a welfare check Monday afternoon.

Misha Goodman, director of Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Services, was called a short time later to assist with the dogs. “There were two dogs in a large crate with no floor and no food or water. Another dog was loose,” Goodman said. “All of the dogs appeared to have wounds on them. The dog that was loose was bleeding from the ear and other wounds and was pretty aggressive at the time.”

Darrell Cathey, 24, is in jail on 13 charges, including eight charges for animal neglect. Goodman says most of the injuries to the dogs appear to be from biting, but it’s not clear if Cathey was breeding dogs for fighting. “The dogs had puncture wounds on them and tears and such to skin and body parts that would be reminiscent of dogs getting in a fight together…whether or not that was being done purposely is still in question,” Goodman said.

Deputies were able to reach Cathey by phone. He said he was in Chicago and on his way back to the trailer. Cathey claimed he came home one day to find “the dogs got into a fight.” But, Goodman says the dogs have old wounds as well. “So, unfortunately, the story doesn’t quite mesh,” Goodman said.

Some of the dogs will need major surgery, one has lost an ear and all of the dogs are receiving antibiotics. Cathey was charged on Thursday. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 16.