The director of a South Carolina Animal Rescue is arrested for animal abuse

Portrait of scared dog in animal shelter

Photo: Getty Images

It's bad enough when you find out some hoarder has been abusing animals, but this time it's the director of a South Carolina animal rescue.

Officers say Caroline Dawn Pennington is charged with 30 counts of ill treatment of animals. Pennington is the CEO and Director of the non-profit group known as GROWL. Last month law enforcement was asked to do a welfare check in Columbia after getting a call saying there was a "smell of death" from a home there. When they entered, they said they found 30 decomposing animals--28 dogs, 2 cats---confined in cages and crates. Deputies say the animals had been dead for some time and appeared to have died from starvation and dehydration. Additionally, deputies say the animals were lying in their own waste and died in their cages. 

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said “It's appalling and it's heartbreaking. This is someone who was entrusted by the community to care for these animals and find them homes. She betrayed that trust and she betrayed the trust of these innocent animals who relied on her.”

Deputies say GROWL is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and people who have made documented donations to them in the last year should call the sheriff's department. 

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