Anderson, S.C., Public Safety Captain John Chambers called this the "Worst" animal mistreatment case in the county's history, but he is not treating it as such. Please take the time to post your comments in the Anderson Online forum located at: http://extra.scripps.com/cgi-bin/WebX?anderson
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Abandoned animals hungry for attention
By Charmaine Smith (email@example.com)
Anderson Independent-Mail 6/22/2002
When Brande Carpenter reaches out to pet the Rottweiler brought to the Anderson County Animal Shelter
this week from an abandoned home in Starr, the dog laps up the attention.
"The Rottweiler comes right up to you and lays down in front of you," said Ms. Carpenter, a supervisor at the shelter. "She's just a sweetheart."
The dog was one of 37 animals found alive Sunday at the First Avenue home, where they had been left without food or water for about three weeks. Officers were only able to capture 14 of the 20 dogs as well as three cats and seven mice to take to the shelter, Ms. Carpenter said.
She said Friday that the Rottweiler is one of four animals, all dogs, that are definitely healthy and gentle enough to adopt. The rest are still undergoing evaluations.
When the animals came in, Ms. Carpenter said they were anywhere from five to 15 pounds underweight and some had sores or bites on them.
"They weren't skin and bones, which is what some people think," Ms. Carpenter said. "But they are extremely happy to see people."
Officers with the Anderson County Department of Public Safety found the animals when they responded to a neighbor's complaint of vicious dogs running loose outside the house.
They found dogs running around outside, in kennels and chained to trees. The rest were locked inside, along with a 12-foot python that officers glimpsed but have not yet found. At least four cats were found dead in and around the house.
The home's owners, Steve Kay, 27, and Leann Kay, 34, turned themselves in Tuesday and were charged with one count each of abandonment of animals and malicious injury to an animal, under a county ordinance that carries a maximum penalty of $1,025 and 30 days in jail.
The misdemeanor charges have angered several animal lovers in the area, said Ms. Carpenter and Anderson Humane Society President Marianne Lyles.
Ms. Lyles said the Humane Society has had about 25 calls about the case this week, mostly from people who think the charges are too light.
We are outraged that a pet owner would leave their pets behind like garbage, Ms. Lyles said. We certainly believe the owners deserve more than just a slap on the wrist. I think we need to send a message to the people of this county that this is a serious crime.
But Anderson County Department of Public Safety Capt. John Chambers, who supervises the animal control officers, said he stands by the number of charges issued.
He said earlier that "stacking charges" against the Kays could backfire in court, but he wouldn't elaborate on details until the case has concluded.
Ms. Carpenter said the animal shelter
, which is just off S.C. 28 Bypass in Anderson, has received about 20 calls a day from people concerned about the animals and wondering when they will be ready for adoption.
She said the court case must be over before the animals can be adopted.
Contact info for Anderson County:
PO Box 2507, Anderson, SC 29622
Phone: (864) 224-4321 or 800-859-6397
Director Gerald Shealy, Anderson County Department of Public Safety, 213 S. Towers Street Anderson, SC 29624, Phone: 864-260-4646 Fax: 864-260-1055
Captain John Chambers, Animal Control, Anderson County Department of Public Safety, 213 S. Towers Street Anderson, SC 29624, Phone: 864-260-5576 Fax: 864-260-1055
Anderson County Magistrate Court ("Summary Court"), Judge Nancy Wilson Devine, Chief Magistrate, P.O. Box 8002 Anderson, SC 29622, Phone: 864-260-4055 Fax: 864-231-1762 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(type "Summary Court" in subject heading)
Send your thanks for the present care of the animals to Dorothy Stribling of the Anderson County Animal Shelter--and ask that she NOT adopt the animals out to Kay friends or family:
Dorothy Stribling, Director, Anderson County Animal Shelter, 615 Bypass 28 S Anderson, SC 29626 Phone: 864-260-4154 Fax: 864-260-1054 No e-mail address
For futher Anderson County officials and departments, go to: http://www.andersoncountysc.org/index.asp