Animal control officers say the dogs were found in the woods behind a house, chained to a log chain. They said some did not have food or water and look malnourished.
Neither the Wake County Sheriff's Office nor animal control know who owns the dogs. Although, there is no evidence on the property, officers are looking into whether the dogs were used for dogfighting.
"Some animals apparently had a lot of injuries to the face area and also their hindquarters," said Scott Allen, of Wake County Animal Control.
People living near where the dogs were found said they did not know about them.
"My kids play up there all the time. If I had known they had that many pit bulls up there, my kids would have stayed in the front yard," neighbor William Barbour said.
Officials said what happens to the dogs depends on what the investigation reveals.
"I don't think they would be good candidates to put back up for adoption because of the environment they have been brought up on," Allen said.
Officials said adding 18 dogs to the Wake County Animal Shelter's population strains resources this time of year. Almost 200 cats and dogs are already being cared for.
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