(KMOV)-- An Alton man faces animal cruelty charges after Animal Control found the bodies of two emaciated dogs at his residence.
The Metro East Humane Society received a report that James Steele, 43, was abusing his dogs. When Alton Animal Control went to Steele’s residence in the 2900 block of Edgewood Avenue, officials found evidence dogs had been there but could not find them.
Animal Control returned the following day to find the bodies of a pit bull mix and Labrador retriever mix inside garbage bags. The Alton Police Department says that the dogs were starved to death.
Police say Steele claimed the dogs died from exposure to the cold during the winter months, and he kept the bodies to bury once the ground softened. Authorities say the stage of the dogs’ decomposition does not match Steele’s story.
Steele was charged Friday in Madison County with aggravated cruelty to animals. His bail is set at $20,000.