Bond set at $90K for doctor charged in deaths of 9 dogs in hot c - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bond set at $90K for doctor charged in deaths of 9 dogs in hot car

Charles Bickerstaff. (Source: MPPD) Charles Bickerstaff. (Source: MPPD)
MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

A Mt. Pleasant doctor has been charged with multiple counts of ill treatment of animals after he admitted to leaving nine dogs in his car while he went to work, resulting in their deaths.

According to an incident report, police were called out to Mount Pleasant Emergency Vet Monday in reference to a report of animal abuse. Staff told officials an unknown man brought six dogs that he believed were passed out to the vet to be examined. It was determined the dogs had been dead for some time, as rigor mortis had already set in on five of them.

Vet staff directed the man to a local crematory, and then called police "as they believed the animals succumbed to their injuries as a result of ill treatment," an affidavit states.

Mt. Pleasant police were able to track down the suspect, later identified through employment records at East Cooper Hospital as 64-year-old Charles A. Bickerstaff.

Bickerstaff told detectives he took his 8 or 9-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "Butler," along with eight other dogs of the same breed, to work with him Monday. He put the nine dogs in five animal carriers and placed them in the rear of his vehicle, a Ford Explorer.

An affidavit states the doctor left the nine dogs in his car without air conditioning or food and water in the hospital parking lot while he went in to work at East Cooper Hospital. The dogs were unattended in the car for over three hours, during which time the outside temperatures ranged from 73.4 degrees to 82.4 degrees, with the heat index peaking at 90.0 degrees.

Police say the nine dogs were eventually found unresponsive and confirmed dead by a veterinarian. Affidavits identified the dogs as 4-year-old Shelby, 4-year-old Madeline, 2-year-old Drayton, 5-year-old Katie, 5-month-old Money, 11-month-old Lucinda, Butler (between 8 and 9 years old), Freddie (between 8 and 9 years old) and Willis (between 8 and 9 years old).

Bickerstaff has been charged with nine counts of ill treatment to animals. His bond was set Wednesday morning at $90,000.

The Charleston Animal Society released a statement on the incident, warning of the dangers that heat poses for animals, as well as touching on the potential punishment for Bickerstaff. 

"If the defendant is found guilty, we believe the maximum penalty should be applied by the judge in this case," said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore.

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Accused serial rapist and killer undetected working as cop

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:00 AM EDT2018-04-26 11:00:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>
  • 'Golden State Killer' suspect arrested, is former police officer

    'Golden State Killer' suspect arrested, is former police officer

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:57 PM EDT2018-04-25 16:57:26 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 4:32 PM EDT2018-04-25 20:32:13 GMT

    The 72-year-old suspect has been identified as a former police officer and "nice guy."

    More >>

    The 72-year-old suspect has been identified as a former police officer and "nice guy."

    More >>
  • Geologists say N. Korea's nuclear test site likely collapsed

    Geologists say N. Korea's nuclear test site likely collapsed

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 9:28 PM EDT2018-04-26 01:28:35 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:30 AM EDT2018-04-26 11:30:22 GMT
    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed.

    More >>

    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed.

    More >>
  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • One lane open after tractor trailer collision on I-20WB near Monticello Rd.

    One lane open after tractor trailer collision on I-20WB near Monticello Rd.

    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:40 AM EDT2018-04-26 11:40:19 GMT

    A collision on I-20 Westbound has shut down all lanes to traffic at Exit 68 near Monticello Road. 

    More >>

    A collision on I-20 Westbound has shut down all lanes to traffic at Exit 68 near Monticello Road. 

    More >>
  • Geologists say N. Korea's nuclear test site likely collapsed

    Geologists say N. Korea's nuclear test site likely collapsed

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 9:28 PM EDT2018-04-26 01:28:35 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:30 AM EDT2018-04-26 11:30:22 GMT
    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently announced an end to the nation’s nuclear testing. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed.

    More >>

    A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain where North Korea has conducted five successive nuclear bomb tests has collapsed.

    More >>
  • Injuries reported in accident involving Comet bus

    Injuries reported in accident involving Comet bus

    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:23 AM EDT2018-04-26 11:23:09 GMT

    Officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to a traffic incident involving a COMET bus Wednesday night. 

    More >>

    Officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to a traffic incident involving a COMET bus Wednesday night. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly