WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) – Officials say four bulldogs have died, and six others have been taken to the Charleston Animal Society after being recovered from a West Ashley home in poor condition.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1013 Orleans Rd. Tuesday following reports of a dead dog in the yard.
At the scene, deputies spoke with a cleanup crew who had been hired to clean the property. They said some of the dogs in the backyard did not look alive. Investigators located seven dogs in the backyard, four of which had died.
The other three dogs were still alive; however, one of them was unable to walk and was visibly sick, an incident report stated.
Deputies then attempted to make contact with the homeowner; they knocked on the door but received no response. Eventually, they called the homeowner, who said he was inside but would come out.
The homeowner told investigators he did not know the cleanup crew was coming or that the sheriff’s office was at the residence.
When deputies explained why they were there, the man claimed he had not seen the dogs since the night before when he fed them and did not know they had died, the incident report stated. He told them he had concerns about the dogs possibly being poisoned.
Deputies say the man initially refused to let them inside to get the remaining dogs, but eventually, he let them in, and the dogs were removed.
A follow-up report revealed that eight out of the 10 dogs tested positive for the Parvovirus. The Parvovirus is extremely contagious and deadly. Without treatment, dogs can die from it within 72 hours.
The homeowner was bitten by one of the dogs while attempting to get it out from under a bed; that dog has not been tested for the virus yet, but the virus is not spreadable to humans.
All ten of the dogs were bulldogs, according to the Charleston Animal Society. Of the six bulldogs brought to the animal society, one is still in critical condition.
“This comes at a time when our shelter is packed beyond capacity, but we are not going to stand by and let these dogs suffer,” Charleston Animal Society Vice President of Operations and Strategy Alwin Roman said. “Our mission has always been to prevent cruelty to animals, but when cruelty does happen we will provide lifesaving care and seek justice for these voiceless victims.”
The residents of the home were taken into emergency protective custody due to the conditions of the residence. The keys to the home were handed over to Code Enforcement and the county. Code Enforcement deemed the home unlivable.
At this time, no charges have been issued in this case.
One deputy described their experience inside the house in the incident report:
We could barely walk from one room to another or down a hallway; the trash, filth, animal feces, cobwebs and items thrown all over the home was unbelievable to a reasonable human being…Portions of the ceiling were fallen, and the residence had walls that appeared to have been chewed and eaten by dogs.
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