Monday, Sept. 24, 2012:
EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. -- News 12 has learned where most of the rescued animals in this case will end up.
The nine horses will be taken to Aiken Equine Rescue.
The Aiken SPCA will be picking up 33 dogs and a parrot on Tuesday. The dogs will be be brought back to the shelter, spayed/neutered and put up for adoption as early as Friday.
For the Aiken SPCA website, click here. The SPCA is at 401 Wire Road, Aiken, SC 29801. To call the Aiken SPCA, dial (803) 648-6863.
For the Equine Rescue of Aiken website, click here. The Equine Rescue is at 532 Glenwood Drive Aiken, SC 29803. To call the Equine Rescue, dial (803) 643-1850.
News 12 at 6 o' clock / Friday, Sept. 21, 2012:
EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. -- Callie Abel pleaded guilty to seven counts of ill treatment of animals and is required to surrender the nearly 300 animals seized from her property just over a week ago.
A lot of the pets seized from her property will be heading back to our area the beginning of next week, and some will be up for adoption as early as next Friday.
Gary Willoughby, director of the Aiken SPCA, says, "We're going to be going Tuesday to pick up 33 dogs and a parrot."
Those pets will be brought back to the Aiken SPCA, spayed or neutered and then put up for adoption.
"We'll spay or neuter five or six every day, so we'll have five or six ready for adoption within a couple days after that," Willoughby said.
But some of those pets will not be finding new homes. As part of the plea deal, Abel will be allowed to keep her three house dogs and her parrot, as long as she pays $350 in court fees, neuters her three dogs, surrenders all of the other pets, disposes of all cages and pens on her property and passes a home inspection by the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office.
"If she doesn't meet those requirements, then we'll put those three up for adoption as well," Willoughby said.
And you'll find rescued pets from Abel's property up for adoption all over the CSRA soon.
Jim Rhodes with the Aiken Equine Rescue says, "There was nine horses total, and we've agreed to take four, maybe five. I'm going to go up Monday to look at them."
Rhodes says he hopes he can help the rescued horses find a new home.
"It makes it worthwhile when you find a home, find that forever home," he said.
He'll also be picking up about 30 ducks and geese and three or four of the mother dogs with litters.
The court is also making Abel donate the 30 bales of hay on her property to the Aiken Equine Rescue. She is never allowed to have more than three dogs on her property again.
If she doesn't meet all of the requirements within 60 days, she will go to jail for 30 days per charge, a total of 210 days.
Initial report / Friday, Sept. 21, 2012:
EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. -- The owner of a suspected puppy mill in Edgefield County has surrendered the animals at her property so they can officially be released to animal shelters.
The Humane Society's public information officer says the animals will be moved to various shelters throughout the region as early as Friday. Once they are relocated, they will begin the process of being evaluated for adoption. News 12 will keep you updated on which shelters will be receiving the animals.
The animals were surrendered after Callie Abel pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor charges for ill treatment of animals in court on Thursday.
According to the judge, the terms of that plea include that Abel has to pay a $50 court fee per charge, which is $350 total. She also has to pay back the rescue team for rescuing/boarding all the dogs.
Abel had to surrender all of the animals on her property but was allowed to keep her three house dogs and her parrot. All of her house dogs have to be spayed or neutered. She is never allowed to have more than three dogs on her property as long as she lives in Edgefield.
Abel also has to donate the 30 bales of hay on her property to Aiken Equine Rescue. The nine horses she had on her property will be going to the rescue. Any and all of the cages, enclosures, etc. on her property have to be removed within 30 days.
If Abel doesn't meet all of these requirements within 60 days, she will go to jail for 30 days for each charge.
All this was agreed upon by the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office says no further charges are coming as long as she meets all of the terms of the plea agreement.
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012
EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. -- Volunteers were able to rescue 206 dogs from an alleged puppy mill in Edgefield County on Tuesday.
Along with those dogs, the Humane Society of the United States also rescued 31 chickens, 12 ducks, nine horses, three geese, two guinea hens and a parrot.
Volunteers say the conditions for the animals at the home on Homes Pond Road would make your stomach turn.
Kim Kelly, state director for the Humane Society of the U.S. in South Carolina, says, "They were living in just deplorable conditions. A lot of them had some pretty serious health issues, which the veterinarians are looking at and documenting."
The Humane Society and the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office have both been investigating the owner of the property, Callie Abel, for months.
Neighbors like Daniel Holley say they are glad to see the pets rescued.
"The animals won't have to suffer anymore, the neighbors won't have to suffer anymore, and we won't have to suffer anymore," he said.
He says the barking would keep them up all night, and the smell was horrible.
"It's just been a nuisance, and it just breaks my heart," he said.
Kelly said, "It's pretty tough to see animals suffering like this, and we really want to be able to help them as much as we can."
They found puppies of of all breeds, shapes and sizes. They say many were living in small, cramped cages.
"It's hard to see, but knowing that they're going to be taken from the situation and placed into better homes, in the future, it's certainly heartwarming, and we know that we're making a difference for them."
As for Abel, her charges are still pending and was released on bond Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbors say they hope this is the end to her dog breeding days.
"What's happening today should be a final resolution to the problem. I think that she should not be able to own animals again," Holley said.
All of the puppies ducks, and chickens were taken to a temporary emergency shelter. The horses will be cared for at a local farm. All of the animals will be held until the case is resolved.
Petsmart has donated about $90,000 worth of food, crates, puppy pads and other supplies. The Humane Society of Charlotte has vets volunteering.
EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. -- The Humane Society of America and the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office have made an arrest after busting an alleged puppy mill on Tuesday.
Authorities found about 200 dogs, nine horses and several chickens at a home on Holmes Pond Road. The animals were said to be living in deplorable conditions.
Investigators had been looking into breeder Callie Abel for several months.
Neighbors say they are glad to see the animals being rescued.