MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - We have a 'Fighting for You' update. The man WHNT NEWS 19 reported owning 25 to 30 pit bulls faced our camera. He acknowledges animal control officers handled dozens of complaints of dogs roaming on his property. Some of the dogs were chained. Most complaints accused the man of starving the dogs.
Lemont Sanchez wasn't surprised to hear a viewer contacted WHNT NEWS 19 about the chained pit bulls. How come?
Sanchez and Mike Fritz, Madison County's Animal Control Director, are on a first name basis. They've talked to each other a lot. Animal control started getting complaints about Sanchez years ago. Fritz told WHNT NEWS 19 Sanchez is compliant with state law. Sanchez insists he's an animal lover.
A WHNT NEWS 19 viewer saw a dog chained outside a home. She emailed the station seeking help. She thought the dog kept on the chain was starving.
"I wouldn't want to keep my personal dog in that condition. But, by what's required by the Alabama state law, he is not violating anything," said Fritz.
The viewer heard other dogs barking. Sanchez, the dogs' owner, tells WHNT NEWS 19 there are 30 pit bulls.
"We have Honey, Big Boy, Dirty, Sasha, Honey II, which is Honey's daughter, Coco, Ices, Lil Momma, Big Momma and so on," said Sanchez.
"It's my form of making money," added Sanchez.
Sanchez showed WHNT NEWS 19 his license to operate a dog-selling business in Madison County.
"I don't like when people make assumptions, call with false accusations, don't try to actually find out what's going on or anything," added Sanchez.
The license is in good standing.
WHNT NEWS 19 asked, "Are 30 pit bulls too many?"
Sanchez replied, "They stereotype pit bulls because they are pit bulls. I love them. They are the greatest dog I have ever owned."
Sanchez is aware some think he's involved in dog fighting.
"You are wrong. You're incorrect to the utmost. I couldn't fight my dogs. I couldn't watch them. I've seen dog-fighting on the internet. It is gross," added Sanchez.
WHNT NEWS 19 asked Sanchez, "What do you need people to understand?"
Sanchez replied, "No one has ever came to talk to me. As far as someone who's making a complaint, no one ever come to talk to me personally. I do understand the concern, but do take care of my dogs. I don't fight them at all."
WHNT NEWS 19 saw a few of Sanchez' 30 pit bulls at one location. Sanchez took the news crew to another.
"This is where the majority of them are," said Sanchez as he walked our news crew to several kennels.
The dogs seemed to give Sanchez a warm greeting.
"They all have tarps on them to keep them in the shade. They all have buckets of water. I know they're not human. They're not people, but I kind of look at them like that. They are like my kids," added Sanchez.
It's worth pointing, no one can regulate how many dogs Sanchez can own. The animal control director did strongly recommend Sanchez gets all the dogs spayed and neutered. Sanchez had some of those dogs fixed the morning the story aired.