NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Animal Society is caring for 8 dogs sized at a North Charleston home.
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A ninth dog was found dead on the property, according to Charleston Animal Society spokesperson Kay Hyman.
"There is a criminal investigation into what was found, but we are focused on providing the best life-saving care possible for these animals," Charleston Animal Society Director of Anti-Cruelty & Outreach Aldwin Roman said.
An incident report states North Charleston Police responded to a request for an animal welfare check on Jan. 30 at a home in the 3900 block of Niagra Street. Police say the man who lives there told officers he had just returned with his girlfriend from Atlanta where they had been for four days.
The report states the officer received permission to search the home and found a total of nine pit bulls on the property. Police say two were tied up in the front yard, a third was tied but had jumped a fence and could not access shelter or water, and the remaining six were located in run-type areas. One of those six dogs was dead and another was "very emaciated," the report states.
Police issued two summonses in the case, one for animal care and a second for sanitation violations, the report states.
The officer took custody of the emaciated dog and the dead dog and left the remaining dogs with the man's care with the stipulation that they were all seen by a veterinarian within the week and contingent on "preliminary findings" of the two dogs, the report states.
Two days later, the entire animal control unit returned to the home to serve a search warrant and take the remaining dogs, the report states.
One of the dogs, named Cappucino, was brought in emaciated and in critical condition, Roman said.
"His temperature was so low that it didn't even register on a thermometer," he said. Shelter workers did not expect the dog to survive given his condition, but after he was stabilized, he was transported to Veterinary Specialty care where he received a blood transfusion, IV fluids and parasite treatment, Roman said.
A court order on Friday gave the Charleston Animal Society custody of the dogs, Hyman said.
The shelter's donor-funded Caitlyn's Anti-Cruelty Fund will cover the cost of their treatment, which is currently estimated to be $4,000 and rising, Hyman said.
The North Charleston Police Department's Animal Control Unit is handling the criminal investigation. A custody hearing has been scheduled through magistrate's court, the incident report states.