The Charleston Daily Mail says authorities suspect 87-year-old Edward Barrera of Arnoldsburg was likely involved in dog fighting using pit bulls.

They found seven dead dogs and 25 emaciated ones on Barrera's property last week, after his body was discovered, authorities saying he had been dead two weeks or more.

Janette Reever, deputy manager of the animal fighting law enforcement unit of the Humane Society of the United States, said Calhoun officials contacted the group last week to help relocate the dogs.

Reever said Barrera was previously involved in dog fighting. She called him a "well-known figure" in the dog-fighting scene, according to the Daily Mail report.

State Police Sgt. O.S. Starsick told the Daily Mail that neighbors typically stayed away from the home because they were afraid of his dogs.

Found on the site, 17 pit bulls, four beagles and two mountain cur dogs. Seven more pit bulls, still chained to their ramshackle doghouses, were found dead from starvation and exposure to the elements, according to the Charleston paper.

See   Man, 87, found dead at home with 32 dogs - by Ashley B. Craig Daily Mail staff   Authorities suspect an elderly man found dead in his home as dozens of starving dogs suffered in the cold outside might have been involved in dog fighting.

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