Crime

Chained, dirty water, sour food: Officials rescue 11 dogs in Conway area, cops say

Elmer recovers from amputation

A dog named Elmer recovers from an amputation in the Horry County Animal Care Center. He was one of 11 injured and malnourished dogs chained up around the yard of a Conway-area home with unclean water and little food, according to a police reports.
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A dog named Elmer recovers from an amputation in the Horry County Animal Care Center. He was one of 11 injured and malnourished dogs chained up around the yard of a Conway-area home with unclean water and little food, according to a police reports.

Two people were charged after Horry County police found 11 malnourished dogs chained in the yard of a Conway-area home with dirty water and little food, according to a report.

Peter Maurice Freeman, 35, of Conway, is charged with 11 counts of ill treatment to animals, overworking. Destiny Nauticia Freeman, 25, of Conway, is charged with 11 counts of ill treatment of animals, torture.

The dogs were taken to Horry County Animal Care Center this month for treatment and because of the living conditions. One dog, Elmer, had to have a leg amputated, said Capt. John Harrelson with Horry County Police Department.

Elmer was initially adopted from the animal care center, said Brittney Sherman, operations manager at the center.

“He seems to be making a full recovery,” she said. “He’s happy, healthy Elmer.”

All of the dogs were malnourished, authorities said, with ribs and hip bones showing. Harrelson said each dog is expected to recover.

“As far as adoption, once the case goes to trial, the magistrate will decide whether the dogs are returned to the owners or made available for adoption,” he said. “Until that time, they will be cared for by the animal care center.”

Officers went to Hucks Road several times in July for welfare checks on the dogs and warned the suspects that the animals needed proper care, according to an incident report. Police allege there were no improvements with the dogs’ care each time they visited the property, a report said. The dogs, including two puppies, were mixed breeds that resembled pit bulls and a Rottweiler mix, officers said.

On July 25, police went to the home for the third reported time and found dogs in the yard, some bound with a “logging chain” and one dog with a broken leg and a visible bone protruding, a report said.

Some dogs did have fresh waster, while others had “stagnant green water with mosquito larva swimming in it,” a report said. Only one dog had food in a bowl, which was wet and sour, according to the report.

Police said one dog had “evidence of a once-embedded collar.”

Harrelson said the case is not part of a larger operation.

The county’s animal control is through the Horry County Police Department Environmental Services Unit. It handles animal control and accumulation in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong

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