Handcuffs photographed Tuesday, December 26, 2017.

A Baton Rouge man was arrested on animal cruelty counts after East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputies found dogs kept in “deplorable” conditions to be used in fights.

Deputies received a tip that there was both narcotics trafficking and dog-fighting at a certain home on Cypress Dale Avenue, according to booking documents.

The Special Community Anti-Crime Team watched the home last week and observed Keontra Sanders, 27, going up to various cars and conducting hand-to-hand exchanges.

Officers stopped two of the cars and made narcotics arrests.

On Tuesday, authorities returned to the Cypress Dale home and confronted Sanders in the driveway, asking to search his room for drugs. Sanders consented to the search, according to booking documents.

Authorities found marijuana in his room, but in the kitchen, they discovered five puppies — three confined to one cage and two others in separate cages. They noticed seven more dogs in the backyard in “deplorable” living conditions, chained in mud.

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One dog was standing in a hole “filled with water up to his neck,” documents say. They found one more dog “riddled with what appeared to be dog bites” and with a broken leg in an outside closet beneath the carport.

All the dogs appeared thin and malnourished, documents say, and deputies could not see adequate food or water available.

Animal control officers summoned to the scene said the dogs seemed to be overworked from using a treadmill.

Sanders denied he sold drugs and that he was involved in dog fighting, according to booking documents.

He was arrested on Tuesday and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on six counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two counts of drug possession.

Email Jacqueline DeRobertis at