ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – What started as a welfare check led to dozens of dogs being rescued from a home in Belton, Wednesday afternoon.
First responders arrived at the scene off of Big Creek Road in response to a woman needing medical assistance. Once crews got to the scene, they found several animals inside the home which prompted a call to Anderson County Animal Control.
“There were at least 25 dogs that were out in the yard at one point in time,” said Director and Veterinarian for Anderson County Paws, Doctor Kim Sanders. “So, we know there’s quite a few more in the house as well.”
All dogs, chihuahuas.
Dr. Sanders said the animals do not appear to be in poor shape.
“It’s more the living conditions,” Sanders said. “There are definitely some with fleas, hair loss. There’s one that’s missing part of a paw. There’s one it looks like he had an old eye injury and is missing an eye. But most of those appear to be fairly healthy.”
Those living conditions prompted the investigation to pause until Thursday morning.
Sanders said they need a new search warrant and a bigger crew.
“We’re asking for emergency management assistance, and then I will bring extra staff from the animal shelter as well,” said Sanders.
She described the home as a situation that got out of hand without spay and neuter.
“Spay/neuter is the key to all problems in the world when it comes to animal welfare,” Sanders explained. “And so you know that’s something that we are always pushing at paws.”
Thursday all the dogs will head to the shelter.
“They’ll be fully examined and have blood work done, and have all of their vaccinations, worm, treated for fleas, and then we’ll go from there,” said Sanders.
Now she’s calling on the community to speak up if they see something or need help.
“We always offer assistance to people that are becoming overwhelmed or that may already be overwhelmed,” Sanders said. “We’re not there to judge, we’re really just there to help you guys, help the animals out in these kinds of situations.”
The homeowner is being treated for a medical condition.
No word yet on when the dogs will be available for adoption, but the shelter says they’re always accepting fosters.
This is an ongoing investigation. Check back here for more details as they become available.