Disturbing case of child and animal abuse in South Carolina

There’s a disturbing case of both child and animal abuse unfolding this week in upstate South Carolina. A Laurens County woman was charged with great bodily injury on a child, as well as animal cruelty.

Charged with animal and child abuse: Savanah Morgan, 25.
Charged with animal and child abuse: Savanah Morgan, 25.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It began July 23 when Savanah Morgan, 25, of Martin Lake Road in Gray Court called 911 around 6 p.m. Tuesday evening stating her child was unresponsive. When Laurens County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded they found a 2-year-old boy with visible injuries of such severity, he was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Morgan claimed at first the child had choked while eating chips, then changed her story and said she had dropped the toddler.

The boy has bleeding on the brain, but an update says he has a long road to recover but is breathing on his own at this time. Morgan has two other children in the home, ages 2 and 1. She most likely delivered twice within one year. She is also eight months pregnant with her fourth child. Those children were removed from the home and placed into Department of Social Services custody.

Now it gets worse. Laurens County Animal Control was called in after approximately 90 animals were found at the home, many of them dead or dying. A total of six dead tarantulas, two bearded dragons, ten dead pythons, 11 dead gerbils and 48 dead rats were found. Live cats, dogs, and turtles were also seized from the property, and the home was deemed “unlivable.”

Morgan was charged with one count of abuse to inflict great bodily injury on a child, three counts of unlawful neglect of a child and cruelty to animals. Her bond is set at $85,000 on the combined charges. Charges against the father of the 2-year-old are pending. He’s said to be cooperating with police.

The home where alleged animal and child abuse took place
The home where alleged animal and child abuse took place

This is an unusual and disturbing case because someone somewhere had to know this was happening. Were the children never taken out in public? What about a pediatrician noticing signs of neglect and abuse?

I posted this case on a few hoarding sites and learned Morgan doesn’t fit the profile of the typical hoarder, yet she must be a hoarder with that many animals in the house. Unless she and her partner were selling the animals for profit, since none of these exotic pets come cheap. It had to have taken some time to acquire them, but why neglect them to the point of death? With three children and a fourth on the way, most likely Morgan was living on government assistance such as EBT or Medicaid.

What disturbs me almost as much as the abuse is the dead animals in the home. Toddlers are infamous for their hand-to-mouth activity. Did they attempt to eat any dead spiders? Or live spiders, if one can even imagine that. Why not take the dead exotics outside and bury them? How did Morgan even attempt to care for her children and live with death all around her? How did anyone in the household walk around and not step on something dead, feces, urine or pet food. 

What do the readers here think? Is she mentally ill, or is she a monster? Please leave a comment.

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5 thoughts on “Disturbing case of child and animal abuse in South Carolina”

  1. i think if u cant take care of your animals properly u really should NOT have a child let alone 3+. its sad 2 think about those poor animals & what their living conditions were, but then when i think about the impact said environment can have on a child it brings tears 2 my eyes! as far as the gov’t assistance, etc bit goes, THAT is kind of a prejudiced opinion, isnt it? besides, there r guidelines as 2 ones income, etc that dictates how much assistance one gets & 4 how long, etc in addition 2 having 2 have proof of such need, & n some cases there r check-ins, visits, etc as well. we rly shouldnt speculate on the number of kids she has/had as there r ppl that have that many kids that fast. though not a common occurrence, it IS possible 2 deliver & then get pregnant again n the same year(though its not recommended o nor ideal 4 the mother 2 the best of my knowledge). also her being unmarried shouldnt b an issue as there r many “functional” families that r 1-parent households, while there r just as many dysfunctional families that r a part of a 2-parent household. it also appears that one of the childrens fathers is/was involved 2 some degree so it is possible that someone was trying 2 help or something(though what THAT constitutes i cant imagine). another thing is “hoarding”, as a dysfunction, typically deals with the gathering of inanimate objects; not pets, or the like. it does sound a lot like a PPD(Postpartum depression) type situation though, but we would need 2 have a bit more info 2 know 4 sure. my heart breaks 4 these kids & what their home life has been thus far. i will definitely b keeping my eye on THIS story as well.

  2. Speaking of children: People who let cats roam free should also be investigated by Family-Services & Social-Services if they have any children. If people see their cats as family members, and then let them roam free to be hit by cars, lap up antifreeze in gutters, or get killed by animal attacks; this does not bode well for them being responsible for ANY other lives in their care……..(remainder deleted by Admin as rude)

    • What is a great tragedy is that you are allowed to roam free. You should be caged and gagged 😉 You have probably spent time in prison and I’d hope you end up there again for a long time. That would stop you hurting cats.

  3. Michael, she is a sick, sick individual. . .and, I agree — you would think SOMEONE has seen or suspected something!! Her and her significant other need to be locked up for life — and NEVER have access to children or anipals EVER!!! Praying the children and the remaining anipals don’t suffer from all this trauma. . .


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