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Warrants: Suspects starved 4 pit bulls, 3 of which died

Published On: Feb 07 2014 05:34:38 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 08 2014 11:30:46 AM CST

Deputies have arrested two Pitt County men accused of leaving four pit bulls to starve, three of which had to be put down.

Kendrick Antwan Anderson, 22, and Monta Demonte Whitehurst, 24, were arrested on Thursday and have each been charged with two counts of killing an animal by starvation.

According to arrest warrants, the suspects placed a 1-year-old white pit bull in a plastic trash can with no lid, then left the trash can in the woods off Old Pactolus Road just outside Greenville. The incident happened on Jan. 9.

That dog, named Stella, did survive, according to an animal shelter official. Stella is temporarily being taken care of by Jennifer Matherly, a volunteer of the non-profit group, Pitt Friends. Matherly is providing Stella with the love and support she needs for a full recovery.

"I think she's going to be a great dog for a loving family," said Matherly. "She's done great in my house, I just really really hope that there's a family out there for her who will take her, and all her scars, all of her previous life, and love her like she deserves."

(CLICK HERE to view a BEFORE and AFTER photo of Stella.)

Editor's note: Because of the emaciated condition Stella was in after she was rescued, NewsChannel 12 is only showing her face in the 'Before' photo.

The other three pit bulls died, stated the warrants. They were found in the following conditions:

-  Brown female pit bull, about 1 year old, tied up in a barn with no food. Its water bowl was frozen over. The dog was in such bad condition that it had to be put down.

-  Gray male pit bull tied up in a wood pile without food or water. The dog was in such bad condition that it had to be put down.

-  White female pit bull, about 1 year old, left in the edge of the woods with no food or water. The dog was in such bad condition that it had to be put down.

"The dogs were very, very underweight, had sores on them," said Michele Whaley, director of the Pitt County Animal Shelter. "Long toe nails, cuts and abrasions- I mean, they were in pretty bad shape."

The warrants stated that Anderson and Whitehurst were the owners of all four dogs.

Anderson is being held in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $200,000 bond on not only the animal charges, but on several unrelated firearm charges as well.

Whitehurst is being jailed under a $50,000 secured bond.