Accused animal abuser pleads guilty to 10 counts of animal abuse
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) - The man accused of one of the worst cases of animal abuse ever seen by investigators pleaded guilty to 10 counts of ill treatment to animals, but he's still waiting for a sentencing hearing.
Supporters of the rescued Goose Creek dogs showed up at court Monday looking for justice. They soon found out more time would pass before a sentence would be handed down to Loney Garrett, the former owner of the dogs who was arrested for abuse.
Garrett's attorney requested the department of probation and parole do a pre-sentencing investigation report in this case.
The assistant solicitor said when the animal cruelty claim was investigated officers arrived to a stench of rotting carcasses. Officers say of the 101 dog skulls discovered on the property. Many of those dogs died of gun shots wounds or blunt force trauma.
The dogs found alive were in cages filled with urine and feces. Rat bites could be seen on their legs. The judge called the case troubling, but granted the sentencing investigation.
"The plea, that's out of our hands, and up to the prosecutors. Basically these are felony counts so each count is $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison. So it adds up," said Michelle Reid, Executive Director of Animal Rescue and Relief.
Her organization along with veterinarians and dozens of volunteers helped to rehabilitate the rescued dogs.
"Certainly we want an end. We want justice. We want something to happen for all of these dogs, both the ones we were able to save and unfortunately the countless numbers that we weren't able to save. But it's important that everybody be treated fairly and with respect and until the judge has all the information he needs we're fine with it," said supporter and veterinarian Kelli Klein.
Reid says 43 of the 45 rescued hounds were rehabilitated and adopted.
Garrett, meanwhile, is still out on bond with the condition that he not have contact with animals.