Still no trial date set in Berkeley County dog abuse case - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

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Still no trial date set in Berkeley County dog abuse case

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By Ava Wilhite

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — A year has passed since the remains of more than 200 dead dogs were discovered on the property of Loney Garrett. Forty-five dogs were rescued and all but two have been adopted.

"It was hard to hear about the case but then when I actually had one of the dogs it hit home a little harder and it is heartbreaking," said Tina Russo-Kinney.

The moment she saw Buddy in a photo she knew it was adoption at first sight.

"He was rescued and was severely underweight, he had an issue with his eye and his eye had to be removed, he doesn't seem to mind," said Russo-Kinney.  

Officials say Buddy was among the dogs discovered in poor health on Garrett's property in February 2013. Garrett was charged with 43 counts of felony animal cruelty. Garrett posted bond shortly after the arrest and is waiting for trial.

"Unfortunately it really does take a long time for these cases to be adjudicated, sometimes several years," said Kim Kelly, South Carolina State director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Kelly says the Garrett case met requirements for felony charges, but often animal cruelty cases are charged as misdemeanors.

"Often times those who are accused of animal cruelty face pretty minimal fines or jail time in these large scale cruelty offenses and it isn't a really strong deterrent," said Kelly.   

Kelly says proposed legislation would increase the fines and jail time for perpetrators and is currently in front of the house judiciary committee. 

Animal Rescue and Relief turned over all their evidence in the case to the Berkeley County solicitor's office. A trial date has not been set. 

  • Ava Wilhite

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