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Dog sitter accused of animal cruelty

After two standard poodles and a giant schnauzer were found dead in separate cages inside a Clearwater home three weeks ago, authorities suspected their dog sitter had left them alone for extended periods without food or water.

Pinellas sheriff's deputies arrested Donald H. Bryant, 54, at 2161 Hillwood Courton on Wednesday. He was charged with four counts of animal cruelty.

A fourth dog, a standard poodle named Cajun, survived. She weighed 20 pounds less than her normal weight and was covered in her own waste when found by deputies Nov. 7. The house is owned by Gary Nolan, 67, who said he has been in New Orleans since late August and had allowed Bryant, his nephew, to live there.

Bryant was released from jail Thursday after posting $40,000 bail.