Owner of dog found shot and starving in Anderson County will not face charges

February 10, 2016
According to a February 9 report by WYFF4 News, the owner of a dog found shot and starving in Anderson County will not face charges, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office reported. Animal advocates worldwide are enraged as once again law enforcement refuses to act after learning the owner shot a dog named Amara for “aggression.”
Sheila Cole with the Sheriff’s Office investigated the shooting in Townville, South Carolina where 2-year-old Amara was picked up as a stray on Mystic Cove Lane on January 29. Amara was taken to Anderson County P.A.W.S., where it was learned Amara had suffered two gunshot wounds to her head and is now blind. She’s emaciated and traumatized and has a long road to recovery ahead of her.
Amara’s owner saw the story on the news and came forward, stating she was aggressive toward family members and visitors and had also bitten his wife. The owner said he attempted to find Amara a new home but decided to euthanize her himself when no one stepped up. After shooting Amara’s owner claims she had no heartbeat, and he believed his dog was dead. What about improper disposal of a dead animal? If Amara had been dead and her body abandoned, would her owner have faced charges of that?

An Anderson County magistrate has decided to criminal charges will be filed for the botched euthanasia. What about animal neglect? Isn’t starving a family pet against the law? South Carolina Animal Law describes animal cruelty in § 47-1-40. Ill-treatment of animals

A) A person who knowingly or intentionally overloads, overdrives, overworks, or ill-treats an animal, deprives an animal of necessary sustenance or shelter, inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal, or by omission or commission knowingly or intentionally causes these acts to be done, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

B) A person who tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal or by omission or commission causes these acts to be done, is guilty of a felony.

Punishment for Section A states that upon conviction the abuser can be jail for a period not exceeding ninety days or by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or both, for a first offense. Second offense abusers face imprisonment not exceeding two years or by a fine not exceeding $2,000, or both, for a second or subsequent offense.

Punishment for Section B deals with torture and inflicting unnecessary suffering on an animal South Carolina Law states that upon conviction the abuser must be punished by imprisonment of not less than one hundred eighty days and not to exceed five years and by a fine of $5,000. Pay close attention to the wording of this section, which reads “must” be punished. It doesn’t say maybe or perhaps. The law states the sentence, so why isn’t the magistrate upholding the law?

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office issued a media statement saying

“Through several days of investigation, the officer determined that the owner became concerned after the dog exhibited several instances of aggressive behavior towards visitors and family. After failed attempts to give the dog away and the dog biting his wife, the decision was made to euthanize the dog.”

If Amara was aggressive, wouldn’t she have been aggressive with her caregivers folling her rescue? Boxer Butts & Other Mutts, the wonderful rescue in charge of her care, reported Amara is only afraid of men. They’re asking animal advocates to join the Justice4Amara Facebook group and haven’t given up, despite the county refusing at this time to hold her owner accountable for his actions.

 

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