HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — The Horry County Animal Care Center is over capacity after authorities said Tuesday that more than 130 animals, including more than 100 dogs, had been seized in two separate police investigations.

Horry County police investigating the neglect-and-abuse cases also seized 13 chickens, 12 ducks, a mini horse and a goat.

Now, Capt. Justin Wyatt, the coordinator of the animal-care center, is encouraging people to consider adopting animals from the shelter to help alleviate space.

“A home is where a dog belongs,” he said. “The shelter is the worst place for a dog,” said Wyatt, who is also a captain with the Horry County Police Department.

He said the influx of so many animals at once has been extremely hard on the center’s staff members.

“Our staff is accustomed to the amount of dogs that we can handle, so when we go over, the staff is not prepared and not capable of dealing with that many animals for any length of time,” Wyatt said. “We’re used to large cases, but having them stacked, right, one behind the other, is what’s kind of put us in this situation where we’re trying our best to move those animals out.”

As a result of being over capacity, workers haven’t been able to give extra attention to the dogs, he said.

“We have to make sure everybody’s fed, watered, basic needs,” Wyatt said. “What falls through is the enrichment program, the extra walks, the extra toys.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, 38 of the dogs seized in the investigations were ready to be adopted, along with other dogs previously at the shelter, he said.
“All the dogs that are currently here that are adoptable, we want to get them out to the public and their forever homes as soon as possible so we can concentrate on the care of these neglected animals,” Wyatt said.