Greenville County, South Carolina Sheriff’s office has created a new position which will investigate animal cruelty and allow the special officer to file charges on the spot. The position is desperately needed following the mutilation or death of several horses in the Upstate. It is a dedicated post. They are looking to fill it internally but will hire externally if they have to. The post title is: Animal Cruelty Investigator. They will work alongside Animal Control (AC) and have the authority to sign felony warrants while AC will deal with misdemeanors.
Spartanburg County Animal Control is also heading their own investigation under the Department of Environmental Enforcement division after a horse named Sarah was brutally stabbed in Campobello back in November and had to be euthanized. Two others were stabbed within days and are expected to recover, according to WYFF4 News.
A Facebook post on the GCSO Facebook page stated:
Investigators with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office are currently working two incidents involving horse attacks in Greenville County. Both of these incidents were reported within the past week. The first incident occurred on October 31st, at a location off of Fews Bridge Road and involved a horse standing in the road, bleeding heavily and suffering multiple cuts. The second incident occurred between November 14th and November 16th when owners found their dead horse suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
I wanted to write on the animal cruelty investigator division because with the rising incidents involving animal cruelty, it’s something every county in every state needs. The new position will operate separately from Animal Control and will give the investigator the right to file charges against the abuser.
A lot of animals have been falling through the cracks as far as the law is concerned. By the time a regular animal control officer can make the first call to check on an animal, then has to go through getting a warrant, the abuser could be gone simply because the officer doesn’t have the power to charge the person.
Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown stated during an interview with Fox Carolina News:
We want to have the right person who loves animals and make sure animal abuse cases don’t fall through the cracks. We had a case a few weeks ago where someone threw a cat out from a vehicle on Woodruff Road. That’s animal abuse.
Some of the cases that will be investigated include serious cases of animal neglect, chained animals and animal starvation. Brown recognized the fact that animal abuse is often linked to other abuse such as criminal domestic violence and abuse against the elderly.
I hope more communities follow suit. For a special investigator to be able to come out, assess the situation and take someone to jail on the spot is major progress in the world of animal advocacy.