CHARLESTON, S.C. (WYFF/WCSC) - Hundreds of animals seized at a suspected puppy mill in Ware Shoals, including more than 140 dogs, are now closer to health and hope.
“We are taking 50 dogs, mostly Chihuahuas and Pomeranians,” Becca Boronat of No Kill South Carolina said. No Kill South Carolina is an initiative through Charleston Animal Society.
Volunteers with the Charleston Animal Society picked up the dogs Friday from the Laurens County Animal Shelter. In Charleston, the dogs will be treated and taken care of until they are ready to be put up for adoption.
Earlier Friday at the animal custody hearing in Laurens county, photos were shown of animals living in crowed cages, filled with feces.
Laurens County Animal Control Director Geoff Brown said the odor of ammonia and animal waste made it difficult to breathe.
“Puppies being born, and living in cages, with not one piece of cloth or anything," Brown said. "It’s on wire, and their feces and urine just dripping down onto other dogs. We’ve had multiple cases , none this large, but they’re out there. And this came from a tip from the public. If you see something, say something. 'Cause when you do, we’re coming after the people who are doing this.”
Judge Dirk Bron Jr. granted custody of the animals to Laurens County Animal Control.
Barry Davis and his mother, Barbara Timms, are charged with felony animal cruelty.
"I do love animals, I hate to see them go ... but if that’s what it has to be, that’s what has to be ... I understand that,” Davis said at the hearing.
A total of 107 chickens, 10 ducks and eight rabbits will continue their care at Upstate animal rehab 'Izzie’s Pond.’
In court, Brown testified that all of the rabbits tested positive for herpes.
Brown also testified that several of the dogs had skin infections, many had gastrointestinal issues and tested positive for heartworms.
“Some of the dogs who may have lesser medical needs, may only need spay/neuter and some shots and a check-up. But many of them will need dental care. Small dogs tend to have problems with dental care. And some will have more expensive needs to be addressed by the shelter,” Kelsey Gilmore-Futeral, SC state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said.
Staff at Anderson County PAWS worked all hours to care for the pups before being transferred across the state, and in some cases, across the country.
“We’ve got pregnant moms, we had one give birth overnight, we’ve got a few with some medical issues,” Anderson County PAWS Dr. Kim Sanders said. “We had so much support from Charleston animal society, the Humane Society of the United States, Highlands Cashiers, Charlotte Humane -- everybody has come together to we make all of this happen for us and we’re just absolutely overjoyed. The outcome for these dogs -- they’ll finally get a chance at a incredible life.”
These dogs are not up for adoption yet, but there are hundreds of dogs not involved in the case at Anderson County PAWS who are looking for their forever home.