FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Another puppy mill was found in the Pee Dee in February, making three illegal dog breeders found in the last three months.
December 2017- 133 animals found in Florence County
February 2018- 103 animals found in Darlington County
February 2018- 28 animals found in Florence County
The arrest report says the Florence County Environmental Officers found the puppy mill in Scranton. Animal control officials say many of which with a wing worms, bacterial infections and cut off tails.
“Five of the guys their tails had just been docked off,” said Prosecutor Dean Ard. “The mama to these puppies, we actually lost her. She had a bad bacterial infection.”
The report says about 30 dogs were found at Randy Riner’s backyard last month.
Riner went before a judge Wednesday. He was charged with first and second-degree animal cruelty. Riner pledge guilty and the animals were taken from his house. He was fined more than $2,000.
“He’s officially closed down. That’s one less we have to worry about in Florence County,” said Ard. “We’re not going to go away. If you are breeding dogs, there are proper ways to do it.”
Ard believes each breeder should be licensed and fines should be harsher.
The animal control officers say they’ve had three other animal cruelty cases already this year.
In the last three months, Florence County reports:
-three severely malnourished dogs
-one dead dog tied to a tree
-two cats found dead in a trash bag
In each case, people were fined $260.
“For a litter ticket we can get a minimum fine of $508,” he explained. “Where are the priorities at for our animals?”
The Environmental Officers say they plan to talk with the County Attorney to draft an increase in animal cruelty and breeder fines.
“In the past, we were more concerned about the animals and removing them from that situation,” he said. “From here on out, there are going to be steep fines for every animal on every charge. It is not tolerable to see animals in these conditions.”
Director Herbie Christmas says he would like to see each breeder in the county sale animals with a veterinary stamp of approval within seven days of the sale.
The other Florence County woman Donna Lee was charged with breeding about 133 animals in December. Lee is awaiting jury selection before she goes before a judge.