Lexington County (WLTX) - Thanksgiving day ended with a shocking discovery for neighbors living near a house at 121 Earline Drive outside West Columbia. "I saw that the front door was open. I made a call to the police, they mentioned that it was Thanksgiving and there was really nothing that could be done," says Nancy White.
That's when she noticed something else unusual. "I looked closer at the house and saw a couple of windows open and looked into the basement." Inside she found dogs covered in waste and even worse. "The little dog in the corner looks like he starved to death and he died a horrific death," says White.
And more of the same in the backyard. "I looked over the fence and saw 20 to 30 more dogs in terrible shape. No food, no water stuck in between fences," says White. "They had scars on them and looked like they had mange."
Neighbor Jim Baughman believes the backyard pool holds even more secrets. "There's been an animal in there that looks like a dog dead for quite some time," says Baughman.
Neighbors say in the past three months, they've made numerous calls to Lexington County Animal Control to report the owners failure to keep her dogs from running loose. "They came and gave her a reprimand to control the dogs, did absolutely nothing for catching them and never followed up," says Baughman.
And neighbors never imagined it would be this bad. Around 3 p.m. Thursday, a sheriff's officer arrived to check out the property. At one point entering a second floor entrance. At 3:45 p.m. a woman believed to be Dawn Dunn, the property owner, arrived. And by 4:30 p.m., the first of three animal control trucks arrived to cart away 41 dogs including two of which were dead.
"You can have animals and dogs but you don't have to live like a dog," says White.
Meanwhile, numerous messages left for property owner Dawn Dunn, who also goes by the name Dawn Mohead, have gone unreturned. In the meantime, authorities have launched an investigation and are not ruling out the possibility of charges against the owner.