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More than 330 cases of animal cruelty have been reported in South Carolina since the start of the year, and Charleston Animal Society (CAS) is calling on community members to speak up for animals who are unable to speak for themselves.

“Animals are the most vulnerable of God’s creations,” said CAS president Joe Elmore. “They cannot speak for themselves. They cannot testify against their abusers. We are calling on the community to speak for them … to support law enforcement efforts to pursue these crimes. You have got to get involved.” 

Elmore said in his fifteen years at the CAS, he’s never seen numbers as high as what has been seen so far this year. The high reports of animal cruelty cases follows a record year of violence against animals in 2022. And, Elmore said, the rates coincide with rising violent crimes against people as well.

“Links have been established and affirmed and reaffirmed between animal cruelty and human violence,” he said. “Humans are at risk too. It’s no secret that violent crimes are skyrocketing in our state, and this is happening with crimes against animals also. Intentional animal abusers … are also abusing children, women, the elderly — anyone who cannot defend themselves.” 

One of the most recent cases, reported earlier this week, is that of a dog found in a ditch in Adam’s Run in Charleston County with a broken leg and an apparent gunshot wound to the head. The dog’s injuries were too severe for recovery, and she was euthanized. CAS is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the felony conviction of the person responsible for the death of the dog. The case is currently under investigation by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

Reported cases include: 

LOWCOUNTRY

  • A man killed a puppy by throwing him from a balcony 
  • A dog chronically abused and allegedly killed by a family member
  • 125 roosters euthanized after a massive cockfighting ring bust in Dorchester County  

STATE:

Honey was one of the few puppies rescued from a puppy mill that was able to be rehabilitated
  • A dog found in Elloree, SC that appears to have been stabbed 
  • Three separate dogs with gunshot wounds found in Orangeburg County 
  • 150 dogs seized from a Pickens County puppy mill  
  • 49 cats seized from hoarding case in Colleton County 
  • A Clarendon County man killed a hound dog by throwing her in a hole and shooting her
  • In a particularly horrendous case, a Union County man tortured a dog by screwing his paws to a wall 

“We have a partnership where we provide forensics and veterinary forensics and support of law enforcement officers and animal patrol officers pursuing these crimes, but working together in partnership, we can only do so much,” Elmore said. “It really is up to you stepping forward to end this madness.”

In addition, CAS will be holding a moment of silence for the 330 cases of animal cruelty during its Celebrity Paws in the Park event at 9:30 a.m., this Saturday, at Riverfront Park in North Charleston. All proceeds raised by the event will go toward the fight against animal cruelty, Elmore said.

If you have information about the Adam’s Run case, you can call (843) 743-7200. If you suspect animal cruelty, CAS says to call your local animal control or 911.



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