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Sheriff Raids DMX' Home, Seizes Dogs

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August 24, 2007 07:48 PM EST | AP

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PHOENIX — Sheriff's deputies raided the home of rapper DMX on Friday, seizing several pit bulls and finding the remains of three other dogs but making no arrests.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office received a tip more than a week ago about dogs being kept in inhumane conditions at the Phoenix-area home, said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Detectives visited the home and then called one of the rapper's lawyers and told him that the conditions for the animals at the property needed to be improved or deputies would take action, Arpaio said. The dogs were not being fed or given water.

Authorities returned to the home Friday.

The 36-year-old musician and actor, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was not at home during the raid.

Simmons' lawyer, Murray Richman, said Simmons hasn't been in Arizona for at least two months and was "extremely disturbed" to hear the animals weren't being cared for properly.

"We had a caretaker that wasn't taking care, that's what happened," Richman said. "He loves dogs _ he loves these animals. Those dogs are practically his family."

Richman said he hadn't been notified of problems at the property until he learned of the raid Friday. Sheriff's officials said they had contacted another lawyer who works for DMX.

Arpaio said the deputies who served a search warrant at the home Friday seized 12 pit bulls tied up on the property and took them to an old jail that has been converted into an animal shelter.

Deputies found the buried dogs when they dug up the back yard. One had apparently been burned and the cause of death on the others was unknown because the bodies were decomposing.

Deputies also found a variety of firearms, Arpaio said. Authorities sought additional warrants so they could check the guns to determine if they were legal.

DMX's albums include "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot" and "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood" and "Year of the Dog ... Again."