ANDERSON COUNTY, S. C. - Officials in Anderson County say they've made an arrest after 153 animals were taken from a puppy mill in Starr last week.
Donald F. Black, 72, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. He is charged with Ill Treatment of Animals.
Volunteers are still working to clean and quarantine the rescued dogs.
The crews are working in the old animal shelter in Anderson County and have been joined by two national groups who are lending a hand for the next two weeks.
The discovery of the puppy mill came after a dog that was purchased at the Anderson Jockey Lot had to be euthanized when it became sick with canine parvovirus.
During an investigation, animal control officers were led to an 18-acre property where they found dozens of animals.
So far, there are no other reports of the parvo virus in the rescued animals, however officials say that it does take awhile to appear so the shelter is being careful.
A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. Keep checking back for the latest developments in this story.
National Groups Join Effort Following Puppy Mill Discovery In Anderson Co. - August 12, 2013
Anderson County PAWS is welcoming two national animal-crisis organizations to help its efforts to clean, quarantine and rescue neglected animals from a puppy mill. RedRover Responders and the Humane Society United States will work with county officials, volunteers, and first responder agencies in Anderson County.
The groups will help assess the animals that were taken from the puppy mill on Friday.
"I want to personally thank these two organizations for their assistance," said Anderson County Interim Administrator Rusty Burns. "Representatives from these two nationally-recognized organizations will arrive in Anderson tonight and immediately get to work on Tuesday morning. This past weekend has been an amazing demonstration of the generous spirit of our residents. Their kind response towards these animals has turned a terrible situation into a true testament to the kind of County we are."
Anderson Co. Animal Rescue Continues After Puppy Mill Discovered - August 10, 2013
Efforts to clean, quarantine and rescue neglected animals from a puppy mill in Anderson County continues.
Anderson County Sheriff Deputies, Anderson County Animal Control personnel, National Guardsmen and women as well as Anderson County P.A.W.S. volunteers are all combing through a Anderson County property Saturday where dozens of animals were held in deplorable conditions.
A neighbor speaking under anonymity said that the condition of the property where the mistreated animals were being held, has been that way for the past 18 years. The neighbor went on the say that the property often reeked, an odor that the neighbor described as one that could be noticed throughout the neighborhood.
Officials describe how the dogs water was green with algae, the animals were in make-shift pens, some were laying in feces and some dogs were running loose.
"The only thing I can say is how can any human being treat animals the way these are treated. Sweet, harmless animals that just wanting to be held and loved and taken care of," said Lt. Col Marion Collins of the SC National Guard.
The Guard was called out to assist officials in opening a building off of Highway 28. It served as the old animal control building until the guard and other volunteers and officials cleaned it out, brought in running water and the power company turned on the electricity.
Inside volunteers and animal control vaccinated the animals and continued to bathe them.
When asked about charged the owner may face, Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said they may come in the near future.
"Once we get a true evaluation of the conditions and the health of each animal we will evaluate what charges will come," he said.
County Administrator Rusty Burns said he had county workers who volunteered their time and never expected to get paid for coming out to help. He said the owner put humans and animals at risk because there could be diseases at the property that would affect people. He thanked the workers and volunteers for their time and efforts.
"I've got county employees who weren't asked to come out here, who came out on their own they don't want to get paid," he said.
Burns said if the animals are able to be saved and brought back to being healthy, the county may hold an adoption event.
"If we can do what we pray we can do we will have a special adoption event where you can take these animals home for in not free close to free as you can get," said Burns.
Burns said that all workers and volunteers will be offered counseling and a debriefing for county workers will happen Sunday. They will talk about what they can improve upon and do differently next time something like this happens.
Burns said to help with the financial burden, local foundations have offered to donate. The humane society also dropped off a truck full of cages and dog bowls.
The county said they filled out grant applications on Friday evening and if they're accepted and the money is given, the county could break even.
Dozens Of Dogs Found At Suspected Puppy Mill In Anderson Co. - August 9, 2013
More than 100 dogs were found Friday at, what officials are calling, a puppy mill in Anderson County after an animal was diagnosed with canine parvovirus.
That dog, which was sold at the Anderson Jockey Lot last week, had to be euthanized after becoming sick.
Animal control officers investigating the case ended up at an 18-acre property in Starr where they found between 150 and 175 dogs.
"Our officers went out to the location and saw some deplorable conditions, and we have now begun a full investigation of the area," explains Gary Bryant of the Anderson County Animal Control.
Officials say the owner of the animals is being cooperative in the investigation, and has surrendered the dogs to the county.
Animal control tells us the case is still under investigation but the owner could be cited for things ranging from running a puppy mill, to not vaccinating the dogs.
Since the dogs are at risk for having Parvo virus the dogs are being quarantined. They will be held at an undisclosed location where they will be checked out by a Veterinarian.
Anderson County P.A.W.S is helping take care of the dogs and puppies. The shelter is asking for donations including Purina Puppy Chow, Purina Dog Food, Detergent, Towels and newspapers.
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