Arrest warrants have been issued for a Donaldsonville couple accused of abusing dogs and participating in dog fighting, according to an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office news release.

The warrants have been issued for Brittany Ward, 24, and Joseph Duncan, 28, of 710 Sixth St. The pair will be booked with five counts each of aggravated cruelty to an animal, five counts each of confined animals, lack of necessary food and water, and one count each of dog fighting, the release says.

Ascension Parish deputies saw several dogs in the back yard of 710 Sixth St. Sunday staked out with chains around their necks, wire leads attached to them and no access to any food or water, the release says.

Two of the dogs also had numerous scars and scabs covering their bodies. The type and location of their injuries are consistent with injuries that can result from dog fighting, the release says.

Another dog was also located dead on the property. The dead dog was found to have several bite marks covering its body and duct tape around its muzzle, prohibiting the dog from opening its mouth.

The bite marks on the dog and the manner in which the muzzle was taped are an indication that the dog was being used as a bait dog used to train other dogs for dog fighting.

Bail will be set pending the couple’s arrests.