HICKORY, N.C. -- A Hickory man faces 33 counts of felony animal cruelty after police said they discovered three dead dogs and more than two dozen freezing ones inside an empty building.

Daniel Pride, photo via Catawba County jail.
Daniel Pride, photo via Catawba County jail.

Police arrested Daniel Pride on Wednesday after receiving a call for a suspicious vehicle at a building off U.S. 70.

After they arrived, officers said they found Page as well as several malnourished dogs with bite marks inside the building.

As he was being led in handcuffs to jail, Page told NBC Charlotte that he owned the dog as part of his breeding business called KASH LINE Kennels.

"I'm not a monster and I don't want to be looked at as such," Page said. "I wasn't abusive. I took on a little bit more than I could handle."

He and his family insisted he's a responsible dog owner, and the community could vouch for his reputation as a dog owner.

In addition to the animal cruelty charges, police charged Pride with possession of a firearm by felon, felony possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling place for controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He remains in the Catawba County Jail under a $103,000 bond; he will appear in court Thursday morning to formally request for a judge to reduce his bond.

The dogs are at the county shelter where they'll likely be kept as evidence in the case.