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Abbeville County man charged after 49 dogs in poor condition found on property

Benjamin Earl Vaughn
Abbeville County Sheriff's Office

An Abbeville County man is out on bond and charged with one count of ill treatment to animals, Fox Carolina reported July 30.

Abbeville County Sheriff's Office deputies were investigating a dog at large call Tuesday after a concerned party alerted them to a large number of dogs in poor physical condition and living in poor conditions.

Benjamin Earl Vaughn arrived at his home on Williamston Hill Road in Donalds, where he eventually admitted the dogs were his.

Captain Natalie Talbert of the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office said 49 dogs of different sizes and breeds were removed from the home after investigators obtained a warrant to search the property.

The dogs were found with no food, and there was no running water to the home.

All of the dogs are being cared for with the help of Abbeville City Animal Control, Anderson County Animal Control, Greenville County Animal Control, Ware Shoals Animal Control and Upstate Animal Rescue.

Vaughn turned himself in Wednesday morning and was released on $5,000 surety bond.

According to South Carolina Animal Cruelty law

47-1-40. Ill-treatment of animals generally.
(A) Whoever knowingly or intentionally overloads, overdrives, overworks, ill- treats any animal, deprives any animal of necessary sustenance or shelter, inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal, or by omission or commission knowingly or intentionally causes these things to be done, for every offense is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment not exceeding sixty days or by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or both, for a first offense; by imprisonment not exceeding ninety days or by a fine not exceeding eight hundred dollars, or both, for a second offense; or by imprisonment not exceeding two years or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, or both, for a third or subsequent offense.

(B) Whoever tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon any animal or by omission or commission causes the acts to be done for any of the offenses is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment of not less than one hundred eighty days and not to exceed five years and by a fine of five thousand dollars.

An update will be provided, should any of the agencies involved in the care of these dogs needs assistance from the community.