South Carolina animal rescue CEO arrested after 30 lifeless canines, cats present in her house

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The CEO of an animal rescue group in South Carolina was arrested after the our bodies of 30 decomposing animals had been discovered at her house, officers stated.

Caroline Daybreak Pennington, 47, is a widely known determine within the animal rescue group who’s the CEO and director of the nonprofit rescue group GROWL, the Richland County Sheriff’s Division stated in a information launch.

She was arrested Friday and charged with 30 counts of unwell therapy of animals after 30 decomposing animals — 28 canines and two cats — had been present in cages and crates in her house, officers stated.

Police had been referred to as to Pennington’s house in Columbia on Might 22 to conduct a welfare examine after they received a name saying a “scent of loss of life” was coming from the house, the sheriff’s division stated.

Officers entered the house and “discovered a disturbing and excessive case of animal cruelty,” the discharge stated.

They found the decomposing animals inside and located they’d been lifeless for a “important period of time,” showing to have died from “hunger and dehydration,” the sheriff’s workplace stated. 

“They had been mendacity in their very own waste and it’s believed that they died within the cages and had not been moved previous to being found,” officers stated.  

The sheriff’s division eliminated the animals with assist from native animal management authorities. It’s not clear why Pennington wasn’t arrested till Friday.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott referred to as the invention one in every of the worst instances of animal cruelty he’d seen. 

“It’s appalling, and it’s heartbreaking,” he stated. “That is somebody who was entrusted by the group to take care of these animals and discover them properties. She betrayed that belief, and he or she betrayed the belief of those harmless animals who relied on her.”

Along with working GROWL, Pennington was employed by the Kershaw County Humane Society, a pet adoption heart, the sheriff’s division stated.

Now officers are trying into GROWL, asking anybody who has made documented donations to the nonprofit group within the final 12 months to contact the sheriff’s division.

Jamie Woodington, the president of the board of administrators for the Kershaw County Humane Society, advised NBC affiliate WIS of Columbia that Pennington resigned Thursday, citing unspecified private causes, and that the fees do not contain animals from the Kershaw County group.

NBC Information has reached out to Pennington’s lawyer for remark.

Her lawyer, Ally Benevento of the Strom Regulation Agency, advised WIS her shopper is experiencing psychological well being points.

“That is an extremely tragic case with unimaginably horrific allegations,” Benevento stated. “It’s troublesome for anybody to grasp how somebody may enable to occur what occurred on this case, however there are some important and severe psychological well being points at play that Ms. Pennington is coping with.

“She and her household are working by means of some very troublesome circumstances, and we respectfully request privateness and house in order that she and her household can deal with the psychological well being points that must be addressed,” she continued.

Pennington was booked on the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Middle on Friday and launched on a $75,000 surety bond.