41 neglected dogs removed from training business in Kershaw County

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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CAMDEN, S.C. (WIS) - The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office has removed 41 dogs they say were neglected from a training business in Camden.

Deputies say they executed a consensual search of the property on Bradley Road at the request of Kershaw County Animal Control.

During the search, deputies said 41 dogs were found to be living in unacceptable conditions.

Officials say the health conditions of each dog varied.

Each animal has been returned to its owners, according to reports. They are all safe and are being treated as needed.

The owner of the business, Alex Harris, is now facing 41 citations. One for each dog in her care.

The investigation continues, and KCSO said it will work with the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, Kershaw County Magistrate’s Office, and other county administrators to “ensure all charges have been adequately made and that justice is served.”

Several dog owners who say they paid for Reliable K9 Dog Training’s services sent WIS pictures showing the conditions of their dogs before and after the program.

These dogs were not among those removed by officials, but had previously worked with the trainer, their owners said.

Abraham, the German Shepherd, sadly died after leaving the trainer, his owners said.

“It just breaks my heart to know that anybody can harm an animal but particularly someone that claims to be a trainer and a dog lover,” Sandra Dye, Abraham’s owner, said.

Courtney Smith says her dog Hank was at the training business for more than 8 weeks.

“Physically, Hank was emaciated. That is the only way to put it,” Smith said. “His bones were sticking out. His ribs, his spine, his shoulder blades.”

The dog owners say they reached out to law enforcement about the business several times. An investigation was launched that eventually led to the rescue of the 41 dogs.

“They’re not just dogs, they’re not just animals, they are members of our family and we have to be their voice for them,” Dye said. “They can’t tell us that something is wrong, that someone has harmed them, that someone has killed them as in Abraham’s case.”

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