Police have raided the home of US rap star DMX, finding 12 apparently neglected dogs and a number of guns.
The pit bulls terriers were not being fed or given water, and have been removed, police said. The bodies of three more had been buried.
No arrests have been made and DMX said he had not been at the property in Arizona for at least two months.
His lawyer said a caretaker was left in charge and DMX was disturbed to hear the animals had not been looked after.
"We had a caretaker that wasn't taking care, that's what happened," DMX's lawyer Murray Richman said.
"He loves dogs - he loves these animals. Those dogs are practically his family."
The 36-year-old musician, real name Earl Simmons, has sold 20m albums as one of the most popular stars of hip-hop in the US.
The cover of his latest album, Year of the Dog... Again, which came out last year, featured him with a pit bull straining at the leash.
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