Myrtle Beach Police Department officers seized 21 dogs found to be living in poor conditions and three people were arrested, according to Cpl. Thomas Vest.
Police located three adult dogs and 18 unhealthy puppies at a home in the 700 block of 13th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach, Vest said in a news release.
Authorities charged 19-year-old Belyn Sierra Rodriguez, Keith Burris, 21, and 20-year-old Jahmoy Jamel St. Jacques, with multiple counts of animal mistreatment.
The dogs are receiving treatment at the Grand Strand Humane Society as police continue to investigate.
Around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, an officer responded to the home reference to an animal cruelty situation, a police report said.
A neighbor said her fence butts up against her neighbor’s property and she heard whining and crying coming from the backyard.
She said she saw several puppies “covered in flies” with no water or food in their bowls, the report said.
The officer looked through the fence and saw several puppies and a female adult dog in a fenced-in area of the yard panting heavily.
The neighbor walked over with a pitcher of water and filled the dogs bowl while standing near the fence.
The eight puppies and the adult dog quickly ran to the bowl to drink the water, the reporting officer noted.
“The dogs were panting heavily, had fly-bitten ears, noticeable flea infestation” and were severely dehydrated, the report said.
An animal control officer was called who advised there was already an active case against the dogs’ owner. The owner had been instructed 10 days prior to get the dogs neutered and find the puppies’ homes by the end of June.
No one was home at the time, police said.
Authorities went to the side of the house outside the fence and saw several more puppies laying in the shade close to the house.
One female adult dog was also chained up and another adult male dog was loose in the backyard separated from the other female dog and her litter of puppies.
The owner, St. Jacques, arrived on scene with two others who also live in the house and said the female adult dogs were separated because they fight.
He said the puppies were born in early May. One litter was inbred.
St. Jacques said he was cited and still had a month to find the puppies homes.
He was told they still had to be taken care of in the meantime and “it was very obvious they were neglected,” the officer noted in the report.
St. Jacques said he did not want the puppies in the first place and doesn’t wish for anyone to have two litters back to back.
He said he didn’t care if the puppies got taken from him because he didn’t breed them intentionally and didn’t know what to do with them.
St. Jacques said he did not want his other three adult dogs back.
The three individuals were instructed to hand over all the dogs.
The animals were placed into air-conditioned patrol cars and monitored frequently before being transported to Grand Strand Humane Society.
The reporting officer said it was clear the neglect had been happening for a long time.
All of the puppies were seen to have fly-bitten ears and rashes, and were anemic, the officer reported.
The puppies were also malnourished and had bloated bellies or sunken abdomens in addition to scrapes and umbilical cord hernias.
The puppies’ ribs also showed and some had ticks inside their mouths.
The puppies were given shots and medication and, when fed, “scarfed down the food quickly.”
Grand Strand Humane Society personnel told police multiple times about how poor each of the dog’s condition was.