Saluda County (WLTX) - Officials with the South Carolina Humane Society say they have rescued two horses, a dog, and a cat from a property in Saluda County.
Officials said they received a call in September about animals abandoned on a property in Saluda. When they arrived at the property, investigators found two horses, a cat, and a dog that were in need of help.
Officials said the property had been abandoned and it was obvious that the animals were in need of food, water, and veterinary care.
Officials said the grass had not been cut for some time, the fences had broken boards in several places, and the mailbox had at least four inches of unopened mail. There was a stable for the horses with adjoining fields. The stable area was covered in manure, four- to six-inches thick.
The older horse, a mare named "Flower," was very thin and lethargic. She did not react to an investigator, officials say. A second horse, "Jethro", was responsive, but so severely overweight that he had trouble walking.
Investigators say the dog, "Buster," was very thin and found in a kennel area that was overgrown with weeds and filled with feces. There was no water in the dog's bucket, officials say. The cat was left to wander the property, but there was no food or water available for her either, investigators say.
After a judge reviewed the investigators' findings, Humane Society officials say they were allowed to remove the animals from the abandoned property. That evening, investigators and deputies from the Saluda County Sheriff's Department returned to the property and made sure all the animals had enough food and water to last throughout the night.
The next day, Flower, Jethro, Buster, and the nameless cat were removed and placed in a foster care facility where they would be given appropriate care.
The court issued a date for a hearing, where the Humane Society officials will present complaints to the judge and provide the owner an opportunity to respond to the charges. The final disposition of these animals will be made at that time, according to a Thursday news release.
In the meantime, the animals have all been seen by a veterinarian and are being cared for by a foster family who has significant experience with horses, dogs, and other animals.
In addition to shots, de-worming, and hoof treatment, Jethro was placed on a special diet to help him lose weight. Flower is getting grain and sweet hay to help her build her weight and strength, officials say. Buster is a friendly and fun-loving pup who is now thriving in his current environment, according to officials.
Based on the findings of the judge, the animals could be available for adoption later this year. If you know of any abandoned or mistreated animals, please contact the Humane Society.