Over 200 Animals Rescued in South Carolina Animal Cruelty Investigation

Over 200 animals, including 201 dogs, were rescued from two homes in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, due to deplorable living conditions. Four individuals were arrested on charges of animal cruelty and neglect following an extensive investigation.

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Nitish Verma
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Over 200 Animals Rescued in South Carolina Animal Cruelty Investigation

Over 200 Animals Rescued in South Carolina Animal Cruelty Investigation

In a shocking case of animal cruelty, over 200 animals, including 201 dogs, were rescued from two homes in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, following an extensive investigation. The Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department (SCEED) executed a search warrant on April 16 at a property on Brockman McClimon Road, uncovering deplorable living conditions for the animals.

Why this matters: This case highlights the disturbing reality of animal cruelty and hoarding, which can have severe consequences for the welfare of animals and even human health. It also underscores the importance of reporting and investigating instances of animal abuse and neglect to prevent such cases from occurring in the future.

At the first location, officers discovered 80 animals, including 66 dogs, 10 pigs, 2 donkeys, a goat, and a sheep, living in small pens with brown or greenish water and covered in feces. SCEED Director Jamie Nelson described the scene, stating, "Officers moved through the property and found a lot of dogs in small pens. A lot of pens had either brown or greenish water. A lot of the pens were covered with feces that the dogs were living in." ill, treatment

The investigation led to the arrests of four individuals on charges of ill-treatment of animals. Tonji Lavonne Meredith faces nine arrest warrants for allegedly mistreating animals and two additional warrants for alleged county code violations. John Richard Waldrop was arrested on one warrant for allegedly mistreating animals. The probe also uncovered a breeding operation allegedly run by Patricia Mildean Johns and Wayne Edward Johns at a home on Thompson Road, where 135 dogs and 10 cats were discovered. The couple faces counts of cruelty and received summons under the county animal control ordinance focused on animal cruelty.

During the rescue operation, one of the 47 dogs removed from the Brockman McClimon Road property bit an officer, resulting in the canine being placed under rabies quarantine. The remaining dogs were sent to either Greenville County Animal Care or Anderson County PAWS for care. A Pomeranian found in a cage required on-site triage treatment by a veterinarian.

SCEED Director Jamie Nelson emphasized the scale and complexity of such rescue operations, stating, "Anytime we do any kind of a hoarding-scenario or rescue that's over 10 animals it becomes a large process for us ... it takes all of our manpower to be at these locations — because you're going to be there for a little while. I think this last time we were there probably four or five hours on site."

The rescue of over 200 animals from the two Spartanburg County properties sheds light on the disturbing reality of animal cruelty and hoarding. The tireless efforts of the Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department, along with the support of local animal care organizations, have ensured the safety and well-being of these animals. As the legal proceedings against the accused individuals unfold, this case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of reporting and investigating instances of animal abuse and neglect.