Owner of possibly-abused dog may only face fine

By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield - bio | email

WINNSBORO, SC (WIS) - Fairfield County deputies say they found a dog chained to a tree, and they believe was abused. The chain around his neck was so tight his skin grew over it, but the man accused of doing it may only face a fine.

Part pit bull, part mastiff, animal control thinks he's probably a crossbreed. They don't know his name, but they do know he's had a rough road.

"Nobody let the chain get bigger, so the dog kinda grew into the chain," said Keith Deputy Keith Lewis. "That's what happened here. He got bigger and chain was tight, eventually it would have suffocated him."

We went to the home where the dog was living, but the dog's owner was not there. We did find two other dogs in the yard.

Deputies say they called animal control after getting a tip from a neighbor. The folks at the shelter said after they picked him up, they had to leave the chain around his neck for two more days. Now they're talking him on walks, and he seems to be doing better.

However, the dog owner faces only a misdemeanor citation. In South Carolina, ill treatment of animals is not a criminal offense. "I don't know, I just think there should be tougher laws for this," said Lewis. "It's like a $200 fine."

A judge will decide next week if this guy gets to go home or if he'll go to an animal rescue. Until then, he's healing up and chowing down.  

That court date is set for February 24.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.