The Hilton Head Humane Association late Monday rescued 68 dogs from a Colleton County home after officials there contacted Beaufort County Animal and asked for help.
The dogs were taken to Hilton Head Humane's Spay/Neuter Alliance & Clinic, where employees worked until 11:30 p.m. Monday “getting everyone settled and tucked in,” clinic manager Nancy Foard said Tuesday.
“They were living in filth,” Foard said.
The name of the woman from whom the dogs were seized has not been released by Colleton County, but she's been charged on numerous counts, including animal cruelty, according to Hilton Head Humane executive director Franny Gerthoffer.
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Any adoptions will have to wait until there is clarification in the case, Gerthoffer said. The owner is trying to get the dogs back and has hired an attorney, she said.
Two messages left with the Colleton County Sheriff’s public information office for details about the case were not returned.
“No one can help us until this gets resolved (in court),” Gerthoffer said, adding that in the meantime her shelter is equipped to care for the dogs, which include puppies and total six breeds - chihuahua, pomeranian, sheltie, schnauzer, miniature doberman pinscher, and cocker spaniel. Six cats were also rescued.
The dogs were being assessed Tuesday, getting vaccinations and undergoing tests for heartworm and parasites. They arrived in “varying degrees of distress,” Foard said. However, she said sanguine about their future. “We'll make sure they’re all ... in a good place.”
Both Foard and Gerthoffer said Monday night's seizure was the largest they'd ever seen from one location.
“I've been doing this a long time and you think you’ve seen and heard everything, but you realize that you haven’t when you have a case like this,” Gertoffer said. “This is unbelievable.”