PEMBROKE, N.C. (AP) — Twelve dogs found malnourished in filthy cages were recused from a North Carolina home Monday, authorities said.

Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said the dogs were found underfed and living in poor conditions at a Pembroke home, news outlets reported.

Wilkins said the dogs were seized and taken to a vet.

Homeowner Nehemiah Pate, 25, was charged with 12 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. Pate was taken to the Robeson County Detention Center with a $2,000 secured bond.

It's unclear whether Pate had an attorney who would comment on his behalf.

“There is no excuse for animal cruelty. Animals can’t express their feelings but when abuse is recognized, we must become their voice," Wilkins said.

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