The State (Columbia, S.C.)
A 68-year-old Pickens County woman was arrested on two charges of ill treatment of animals Thursday after investigators seized 166 dogs from her home.
Captain Chuck James of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office said they received a tip that the dogs were not being cared for properly. The dogs were held in chain-link kennels with leaky roofs on Tater Hill Mountain Road. The ground was muddy and covered in food and feces, he said.
The Sheriff’s Office called it a “puppy mill.”
Judith Lynn Brown cooperated with investigators and turned herself in on Wednesday. She was released on personal recognizance after a $10,000 bond was set for each ill treatment of animals charge.
Deputies went to the residence on Monday, saw well-fed dogs but poor conditions and returned with a search warrant on Tuesday.
The seizure involved Animal Enforcement with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, Pickens County Animal Shelter, Pickens County Building Maintenance, Anderson County Paws and the Charleston Animal Society.
Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society vice president of operations and strategy, said in a news release the owner “thought she was doing the right thing, but became overwhelmed when the dogs began breeding.”
Roman said 35 retriever mixes — 16 adults and 19 puppies — were taken to the Charleston Animal Society, while the rest went to Anderson PAWS and the Pickens Animal Shelter.
Pickens County Administrator Ken Roper called the investigation “unprecedented.”
“How a society treats its most vulnerable creatures speaks volumes, and we are so heartened by the assistance from other counties such as Anderson and Charleston as we deal with the influx of these precious animals that are now in our care,” he said in a news release.
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