GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - A judge sentenced a Goose Creek man charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty to a combination of prison time and probation in connection with a 2013 incident.
Loney Garrett was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended to two years of active prison time, followed by five years of probation, according to Ninth Circuit Dep. Solicitor Bryan Alfaro. As a condition of probation, Garrett was ordered to pay approximately $100,000 restitution to Animal Rescue & Relief and the SPCA, Alfaro said.
Garrett was initially charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty. He pled guilty to 10 counts in August 2014, and the other 33 counts were dropped.
On Feb. 11, 2013, investigators discovered the remains of more than 200 dogs at a home on Howe Hall Road. In addition, authorities say 45 dogs in "very poor condition" were rescued from the residence.
SPCA officials said that it took over a year for the surviving dogs to be adopted, except one which was in bad shape that it had to be put down. According to the SPCA, the surviving dogs showed signs of malnourishment and had parasites.
The dogs are a mix of walker hounds, beagles, and hounds.
The investigation began when residents called the sheriff's office and the Berkeley County Animal Control complaining about bad odors and signs of animal abuse at the home on Howe Hall Road.
Berkeley County Sheriff's Office investigators say most of the dogs died because of neglect, while others were killed outright. Officials say some of the dogs had bullet holes in their heads.
Garrett could face up to five years for each charge.