Animal shelter over capacity after animal seizures

Laurens County Animal Control took in 40 dogs over a three-day period this past weekend, beginning with two animal seizures in Cross Hill.

According to Laurens County Animal Control Manager Geoff Brown, seven dogs were seized at one residence with four of those being malnourished. At another residence, one dog and 16 cats were living in unkempt conditions, though all appeared to be healthy.

Around 12 of the cats and the dog were seized, while other cats escaped in area around the residence.

“We were at 51 (animals at the animal shelter) when all this happened,” Brown said. “We took in a total of 40 over the weekend, and now we’re down to 62.”

Brown, whose agency is not equipped to take in cats, said another agency took in the cats from the Cross Hill residence.

Monday morning, the LCAC was called in to handle another hoarding situation on South Harper Street in Laurens. The agency seized malnourished dogs. Another was deceased at the scene.

“We’ve all worked long hours Friday night and Saturday,” Brown said. “I think we’re all exhausted mentally and emotionally and looking forward to Thanksgiving with our families.”

According to the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, two Cross Hill women – Heather Ward and Jennifer Salway – are facing charges related to animal neglect in those seizures. The LCSO obtained felony warrants for ill treatment of animals in both cases.

On Monday, Laurens Police arrested two people on multiple child neglect and animal cruelty charges after the seizure on Harper Street. Shanda Leigh Miller and Michael Anthony Beheler were charged and taken to the Johnson Detention Center where they remained Tuesday.

Brown and his staff at the Laurens County Animal Shelter have been attempting to alleviate an overcrowding situation that worsened over the past week.

A $20 adoption special will continue to run through Saturday, Dec. 7. The shelter will be closed this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday but will reopen from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.

Brown said staff members will meet potential adopters by appointment on Wednesday. Adoptable animals can be seen at pettango.com/laurens.

The shelter also held its first volunteer orientation this past Saturday. Nine new volunteers took part, Brown said. Applications to become a volunteer are available online at the county’s website or can be picked up in person at the shelter or at the county’s Hillcrest offices in the public works department.

 

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