RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A man has been charged with animal cruelty after surrendering eight malnourished dogs.

According to the press release, in March, animal services was contacted when several dogs escaped from Michael Alan Meier’s property. Animal service officers investigated the welfare of the eight dogs and told Meier he needed to relocate the dogs by April 1 or surrender them to animal control.

Meier contacted Happy Hills on Mar. 27 in an effort to relocate the dogs, according to the sheriff’s office. Meier said he wasn’t the owner of the dogs but said they had been in his care for several months.

The next day on Mar. 28, Happy Hills contacted Meier to make arrangements for the dogs. They agreed to wait until April 1, to give the owner of the dogs a chance to take them. They agreed to come and get the dogs on April 2, according to the release.

After Happy Hills took custody of the dogs, they contacted Randolph County Animal Services with more details about the “severe conditions” of the eight dogs. They needed veterinary care. After the dogs were examined by a vet on April 12 and 14, a follow-up was passed to animal services.

The sheriff’s office was notified on April 19 regarding what the vet found with the dogs. Each dog was extremely underweight, malnourished and their fur was matted, and some had medical conditions that required treatment.

The next week on April 25, the full record from the veterinarian was available for investigators to review, and on April 26 warrants were issued for eight counts of felony cruelty to animals.

Meier turned himself in on Thursday. He was issued a $15,000 secured bond. According to the sheriff’s office, additional charges could be forthcoming.