Deputies in the Polk County, Florida area arrested a 51-year-old man after a visit to his property revealed a horrible scene. Deputies and an animal control officer first visited Fernandez Gunter’s home after a tip about animal mistreatment came in.

Someone complained about the way Gunter’s dogs appeared and they also smelled something “dead” coming from his yard. Deputies discovered five dogs in the man’s back yard. All of the dogs were malnourished, had no access to food or water, and a dead puppy was found near a fenced-in pen.

Source: FOX13

Gunter’s wife told police she does not like dogs so she stays away from the back yard. She did agree to surrender the animals to the sheriff’s office, but deputies later contacted Gunter.

He claimed one puppy died the night before and he had been unable to remove a collar from one of the other dogs. Sadly, a collar was so tightly embedded in the dog’s neck that surgery was performed to remove it.

Source: FOX13

The collar was covered in blood, rust, and dirt and caused the dog incredible pain and suffering for a long time. Some of the dog’s skin tried to heal itself and grew in between the chain’s links.

The surviving puppies were adopted out and the adult female who had the collar removed will be placed in a loving home when she is ready.

Source: FOX13

Gunter faces a felony charge of cruelty to animals and has a criminal history including 10 felonies and nine misdemeanor charges.

More about this case and helping the surviving animals can be seen in the video below. The image of the injury is blurred out in the video.