Testimony: Man convicted of animal cruelty loved dogs 'more than sex'
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- The man who pleaded guilty to 10 counts of animal cruelty in what investigators called one of the worst cases of animal abuse they've ever seen was sentenced Wednesday.
Loney Garrett was sentenced to five years minus the three years he's already spent active in the Detention Center system. He also received five years probation, and will have to pay $100,000 restitution.
Back in February of 2013, officers responded to Garrett's Goose Creek home and encountered a stench of rotting carcasses.
Investigators said 101 dog skulls were discovered on the property and many of those dogs died of gun shots wounds or blunt force trauma. Another 100 dog carcasses were found lying around the property off Howe Hall Road.
According to reports, the 45 dogs that were found alive were in cages filled with excrement and rat bites could be seen on their legs.
Garrett's daughter-in-law stood by him, saying he wasn't a bad person and loved every animal at his home.
Family and friends also said the case was blown out of proportion. They said Garrett is a Vietnam veteran battling diabetes and prostate cancer and given his current health condition, he did the best he could to care for his dogs.
His attorney has argued that Garrett was trying to care for his animals, but the task became too much for him to handle. He noted in court Wednesday that the 66-year-old has PTSD and an underlying hoarding disorder.
He also told the judge that Loney was known as the "hunting dog guy." He said people would keep bringing dogs to him and he was unable to turn them down.
Garrett's brother told the judge Loney loved the hunting dogs "more than sex." He said Loney just took in more than he was able to handle.
After Garrett's arrest, Animal Rescue and Relief, veterinarians and dozens of volunteers helped to rehabilitate the rescued dogs.
They also found homes for the animals.