Student locked up after abandoning dog at downtown bench

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Investigators have arrested a 19-year-old College of Charleston student accused of abandoning a dog tied to a bench in downtown.

The Charleston Police Department charged Rachel Murphy Keller with abandonment of animals and locked her up at the Charleston County Detention Center.

On Monday, around 3:10 a.m., police responded to George Street in reference to an abandoned dog tied to a bench with a leash.

Police say when they arrived, the dog was frightened, howling and his tail was between his legs. The dog growled at anyone that tried to get close.

CofC public safety officers told police that they had seen the dog at the location for at least the last half hour.

A police report states that the dog was left unattended and tied to the bench without any food or water. Officers say they spent 30 minutes with the dog attempting to feed him and hoping that the owner would return.

Eventually, officers were able to get close enough to the dog and take possession him. The dog was transported to an emergency vet clinic where technicians were able to scan the dog's microchip and locate the owner.

Police say when they arrived at the owner's Coming Street apartment, officers could see several people passed out in the living room. According to authorities, it took 20 minutes to wake up the dog's owner, Rachel Keller.

A police report states that Keller had a strong distinct odor of alcohol coming from her and the living room was in "complete disarray."

Keller told police that she was responsible for the well being of the dog and told officers that she did not have any idea that the dog was missing.

Police say Keller still believed that the dog was inside the house.

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