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Greenville, SC dog returned to neglectful owner, local advocates fighting back

Cheri Teeter

There's a dangerous situation taking place across South Carolina that involves the animal control officer's hired for respective counties. Until those officers who are hired to protect the dogs and cats in their state step up and actually enforce those laws on the books, more companion animals will die from abuse and neglect. The state has dismal ranking of #46 in animal law protection

A recent case in Greenville, SC has animal advocates fuming. Resident Lindsey Hopkins witnessed firsthand the abuse a dog named Lacy and her brother Toby endured at the hands of her roomate Kimberly Banks. Both dogs were kept confined to a small cage together with only one towel to share as bedding The dogs were left in this small confined space for days while Kim was away. Lindsey would often find both dogs sitting in there own urine and feces.

The dogs were never given any food or water during the day. Anyone can see, just by looking at Lacey’s pictures, that she is underweight. She is skin and bones. The dogs would be given their food and water late at night when Kim was home,
Both dogs were constantly kept under lock and key, they hardly ever saw the sunlight. They were taken out in the morning before Kim left for work at 9, and in their kennel all day until she came home around 6 or 6:30. Even when she did come home after work, there was never any urgency to get them outside. She would take them out briefly then they were imprisoned in the cage again until they went out again at night. This is no life for a dog. Animals should not spend their lives entombed in a kennel.

.After being stuck in that kennel for so long, Lacey began to tear it apart a little at a time. She was constantly digging at the tray and breaking it apart. Lacey also started eating at the bars and mangling the frame in an attempt to get out. The kennel got so bad that Kim actually had to tie it back together because Lacey kept breaking out.The kennel got so bad that Kim actually had to tie it back together because Lacey kept breaking out.

Poor Toby eventually succumbed to his neglect and passed away on February 10, 2014. He never knew the joy or freedom that were his and every other dog's due. He died in misery.

Joanne Smythe from Animal Control showed for the first time, Toby was still alive. Joanne told Lindsey that she could write out a notice to give Kim, and Kim would have to contact Animal Control to set up a meeting for the animals to be seen. Lindsey gave the notice to Kim and all she did was go get the dogs their shots. She never contacted animal control Also, Animal Control never followed up on that notice. The same routine continued to happen even after the Animal Control notice. This is when Cheri Teeter got involved and also began to call on behalf of the dogs. She contacted Animal Control again, and even sent pictures of Lacey to the ASPCA, and never heard a response. Even after Lindsey and Cheri kept trying reach someone who would help, no progress was made until Toby died. Only then was Lacey finally taken in by Animal Control to be evaluated for signs of neglect.

After only a few days Lacy was given back to Kim. Animal Control's justification of this was because she was signed over by a roommate and not taken under a search warrant she could not keep Kim from retrieving her dog. They further stated that Lacy appeared a "bit undernourished" due to her breed tending to be on the thin side. This is a totally ludicrous statement as the dogs ribs and spine are totally visible through her skin.

Hearing of Lacey’s return to Kim, Cheri Teeter started to share Lacey’s story and began a petition, which closed with 2,810 signatures. There is a hearing on Wednesday March 5th to decide Lacy's fate.

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