CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Investigators have arrested a Mount Pleasant man after deputies found dogs suffering from diseases and living in terrible conditions.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office arrested 54-year-old Donnie Wayne Gilliard of Mount Pleasant and charged him with two counts of ill treatment of animals.
He was given a $30,000 bond.
Police say Gilliard’s arrest stems from an incident where a stray dog was located which led to two other dogs found on Gilliard’s property.
All dogs were seized and transported to Charleston Animal Society.
The investigation began on Sept. 30 when a deputy responded to a home on Huro Drive for a report of a stray dog by a woman who reported seeing an emaciated dog in her yard.
The 3-year-old staffordshire mix, named “King,” had a frail body, visible sores on all paws and legs, as well as his head and face, and his toe nails were overgrown.
When investigators contacted the owner, he said he had sold the dog to Gilliard last year, and was extremely upset when he heard the condition of the dog.
When the deputy went to Gilliard’s home he noticed a brown and white pit bull mix in the front yard, and reported that the dog had visible marks on his head and his nails were overgrown.
Investigators said the conditions the dog were being kept were “horrible” with “feces everywhere on the ground” including inside the food dish. The deputy reported that there was a water bowl with filthy water and the dog had no shelter.
“He was tied to a tree with no more than a 5 foot rope,” the deputy said in a report."His shelter was a gas grill and the overhead of branches. The dog was filthy."
When the deputy responded back to the house with a court order to seize the dog, Gilliard's roommate said the dog belonged to another person who was looking for another place to live which allowed pets.
A report states the roommate said he had just returned that morning after spending two months in Florida, and said Gilliard had been at the home caring for the dogs.
At that time, the deputy heard another dog barking and saw a female pit bull mix in “terrible condition” in the backyard.
“She had a 6-foot long leash with no shelter,” the deputy said in a report."...there was a tray of old human food which looked like garbage. She was emaciated just like King."
According to the deputy, the dog clearly chewed the leash in an attempt to escape.
Due to condition of the dog, the dog was also seized.
The sheriff’s office said the brown and white pit bull mix tested positive for hookworms due to the filthy conditions that he was living and lack of veterinary care, while the female staffy mix and King tested positive for heartworms.
“[King] had multifocal scars on her neck and all four paws more likely from insect bites and self induced damage from scratching,” the deputy said in the report.