FAYETTE COUNTY, Tenn. — A former Fayette County Animal Control officer charged with animal cruelty is out on bond.

Thursday, no one answered the door at the house in Fayette County where Chad Smith once lived. The property is where some landscape workers made a gruesome discovery on January 11.

“They had noticed there were a lot of kennels, there appeared to be a large number of bones around and they actually saw some dog carcasses there on the property,” said Fayette County Deputy Chief Ray Garcia.

Smith was arrested after remains of numerous dogs were found at his home.

According to the affidavit of complaint, six dogs were found alive, but there was evidence dozens of dogs died of severe malnutrition and starvation. It’s unknown exactly how many animals died.

“Our investigators spent hours out there digging and locating bones there on the property,” Garcia said.

We’re told Smith no longer lives at the house and was arrested elsewhere in Fayette County but he had worked for animal control a little over a year ago. He left the job in 2021.  

“At the time that he worked here, he actually got very high praises from local rescue groups,” Garcia said.

That makes what allegedly happened with Smith so hard for Matt Fumich to understand. He operates a private dog sanctuary is 1.3 miles from where dozens of dogs reportedly starved.

“I’m here caring for my dogs seven days a week. I would have been happy to go down there at any given point and feed the dogs,” Fumich said.

He said he and other animal lovers have questions about why Smith had so many animals and his heart aches for the many animals that died.

“There’s not a living creature that walks this earth that I wouldn’t do anything to help, and the fact that animals on that property died, it’s just unconscionable,” Fumich said.

Chad Smith is charged with ten counts of aggravated animal cruelty. However, the number of counts may change as more forensic evidence comes up. He posted a $50,000 bond, and we’re told he now lives in Oakland, Tennessee.