A 24-year-old Bradley County man charged last year with starving four dogs was sentenced this week to five years supervised probation after pleading guilty to one count of aggravated animal cruelty.

Jeffrey Dawkins was charged in October 2011 with four counts of aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly torturing (starving) four dogs. The four dogs, along with a dead dog found tethered with no food or water nearby, were discovered by the Bradley County Humane Society while looking for a missing “foster” dog. The severely emaciated dogs were subsequently rescued by the humane society.

Dawkins, in a written statement last year to the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, said the dogs were dumped at his residence and were fighting with his dogs for food.

“So I chained them using my collars so they would share the food,” Dawkins wrote. “(The) dogs were sick and (in) very poor condition when they got there. I wormed them and I feed (sic) them as best as I could, I am unemployed.”

Dawkins pleaded guilty to one of the four counts of aggravated animal cruelty and the other three were nolle prossed (effectively dropped), according to Bradley County Circuit Court records.