An Anderson County judge has decided not to reinstate the case of alleged puppy mill owner, WYFF4 News reported January 27.
Puppy mill owners, come on down to “good ole” Anderson, South Carolina! A judge has made the decision Tuesday not to reinstate a case against a man charged with ill treatment of animals after what was believed to be one of the biggest puppy mill raids in the area.
Donald F. Black, 74, who was was arrested in August 2013 after more than 150 dogs were rescued from a suspected puppy mill on Martin Road in Starr in Anderson County, is a happy man tonight after Judge Nancy Devine refused to reinstate the case.
More than 150 dogs seized from Anderson, SC puppy mill bust
Even though Black was served with four ill treatment of animals warrants for mistreating 126 dogs, a glitch in the justice system has let Black slip through the cracks.
Donald Smith, attorney for Black, told Devine he hadn’t received documents that he had subpoenaed in the case, and couldn’t properly defend his client without that information.
After the dismissal by Judge Devine in December 2014, Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said his office had given the entire file to Smith, and showed WYFF4 News Mandy Gaither the receipt indicating the file had been received.
Smith admits getting some records, but not all of the records he needed to use in his defense of Black stating
“My secretary did sign for what was sent to me. But what I’m saying is what was sent to me was not complete and since all of the people involved in this are basically related to the county, I find it disingenuous that I can get materials relating to one dog that is probably eight or nine pages and everybody else received two or three pages. It’s just not sufficient.”
Sheriff Skipper believes his office supplied all the documents he was asked to send, and his office is going over court records to make certain. The attorney for the sheriffs department will decide soon if there will be an appeal.
Meanwhile, Smith says his client is overjoyed
“It’s refreshing to see that someone in her position doesn’t allow the parties that are involved, or what’s being fought over to sway her. (Devine) made a decision that was right according to the way the law reads.”
Smith also says Black will most likely file a lawsuit, given the circumstances and how unfairly he feels the case was handled and how his “good name” has suffered because of it.
It’s sad the dogs didn’t receive justice. This simply sends the message of just how lax animal abuse laws are in the state of South Carolina.
Anyone who doesn’t believe the dogs were abused and neglected should speak with the 100 plus volunteers, including members of the South Carolina National Guard, who helped with their rescue.
Black’s case helped create a new puppy mill ordinance for Anderson County. But with a good attorney, the ordinance will prove to be yet another joke the animals in South Carolina will suffer because of from future puppy mill raids.
Thankfully, Black released the dogs, who they were adopted into loving homes after being nursed back to health by Anderson County P.A.W.S.
How do the readers feel about Judge Devine’s decision? Please leave a comment.