Cades, SC (WLTX) - The Columbia Humane Society said workers rescued 48 malnourished animals from a farm in Williamsburg County.
Officials said they received information from a confidential source that led investigators to find 11 horses, 1 mule, 10 hogs, 16 piglets, 4 dogs, 2 puppies, 3 cats, and 1 kitten at a farm in Cades, SC, in need of food and medical care.
Officials said it appears that local residents would drop off animals which they could no longer care for at the Cades farm. The owner of the property attempted to care for these abandoned animals; however, because of his limited income and resources, he could not afford proper veterinary care and appropriate feed for the animals.
Investigators said that "The property owner was trying his best, but all he had to feed these animals was corn, straw, and very old hay," said Eddie O'Cain, a Humane Society Animal Cruelty Investigator. "The animals were not receiving any protein or any of the nutrients needed to keep them healthy. Had the animals continued to live in the current condition, it would have certainly become a tragedy as many were in very bad shape."
Officials convinced the property owner that these animals were not receiving proper care and would not survive given their current conditions. The Williamsburg County Sheriff's Department, Animal Control, and the Florence Area Humane Society, as well as other concerned animal advocates were able to persuade the property owner to surrender the animals, and appropriate temporary facilities were found for all the animals.
All the surrendered animals were evaluated by a local veterinarian. All were transported to facilities that could provide proper care and nutrition.
The dogs and cats were taken to the Williamsburg Animal Shelter where they will be evaluated and a decision will be made on their ability to recover from a myriad of problems. Members of the property owner's family were able to take the hogs and will care for them until they can be sold at auction. The horses and mule were transported to a private farm which specializes in equine rescue and rehabilitation.
Representativeness from the Florence Area Humane Society agreed to monitor the animals and assist in getting them all back into good health.
The Humane Society will need help with hay, grain, medical supplies, and horse tack. Financial contributions are also needed to help pay for the items identified.
Anyone wishing to help can contact the Humane Society at (803) 783-1267.