An Anderson County judge has dismissed the charges against the man whose case helped move forward a puppy mill ordinance, WSPA News reported December 3.
Back on August 13, 2013, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office charged Donald Black of Starr, South Carolina with four counts of ill treatment of animals. Black surrendered 153 dogs in what officials called a puppy mill.
More than 150 dogs seized from Anderson County puppy mill
Now an Anderson County magistrate has dismissed the case, upsetting those in Anderson who have fought for justice for the dogs, many of who were lying in feces and drinking green algae-covered water.
In an interview with WSPA, Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns stated
“The first thing that went through my mind was, ‘Why?'”
Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper reported his office filed for a reconsideration Wednesday asking the court to reinstate the charges and bring Black back into court.
“I think the court was in error and once we get this reopened, I’m hoping the court will see that.”
Charges were dismissed after the defense attorney claimed the sheriff’s office didn’t comply with a requirement of law enforcement, known as Rule Five, to turn over any evidence to the defense. The dispute over the documents involved the animal shelter, which doesn’t fall under the sheriff’s office’s control. Skiller stated
“It was information that they were requesting that has nothing to do with the evidence of the cruelty to animal cases.”
At the time of the raid, Anderson County Animal Control representative Gary Bryant called the conditions deplorable.
Black’s “puppy mill” was discovered after a dog purchased at the Anderson Jockey Lot was diagnosed with canine parvovirus. Anderson County animal control officers were led to Black’s 18-acre property during their investigation.
At the time, Gary Bryant of Anderson County Animal Control called the conditions of the animals there “deplorable.” Burns described how the dogs were running loose or in makeshift pens, their water was green with algae, and some dogs were lying in feces.
Sheriff Skipper says steps have been taken to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and after filing a request on Wednesday, expects a hearing within the next few weeks concerning reopening the case.
A puppy mill ordinance was passed in February that requires anyone planning to sell 25 or more dogs a year to have yearly inspections by an animal control officer. Medical information on each dog must also be provided on dogs sold.
South Carolina ranks as one of the worst on having inadequate animal cruelty laws, as well as enforcing laws on the books. This case only validates that fact.