The CEO of an animal rescue group in South Carolina was arrested just after the bodies of 30 decomposing animals had been found at her home, officials explained.
Caroline Dawn Pennington, 47, is a perfectly-known figure in the animal rescue group who is the CEO and director of the nonprofit rescue team GROWL, the Richland County Sheriff’s Section reported in a news launch.
She was arrested Friday and billed with 30 counts of unwell remedy of animals just after 30 decomposing animals — 28 canines and two cats — have been found in cages and crates in her household, officials claimed.
Police have been known as to Pennington’s dwelling in Columbia on May well 22 to carry out a welfare examine after they received a phone stating a “smell of death” was coming from the dwelling, the sheriff’s division said.
Officers entered the dwelling and “found a disturbing and excessive case of animal cruelty,” the launch reported.
They uncovered the decomposing animals inside of and found they experienced been dead for a “significant amount of time,” appearing to have died from “starvation and dehydration,” the sheriff’s business office claimed.
“They had been lying in their very own squander and it is thought that they died in the cages and had not been moved prior to currently being found out,” officers explained.
The sheriff’s department taken out the animals with help from community animal handle authorities. It’s not apparent why Pennington was not arrested until Friday.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott named the discovery a single of the worst scenarios of animal cruelty he’d seen.
“It’s appalling, and it is heartbreaking,” he mentioned. “This is a person who was entrusted by the group to treatment for these animals and obtain them households. She betrayed that have confidence in, and she betrayed the rely on of these harmless animals who relied on her.”
In addition to working GROWL, Pennington was utilized by the Kershaw County Humane Culture, a pet adoption centre, the sheriff’s department reported.
Now officials are looking into GROWL, inquiring any person who has created documented donations to the nonprofit team in the last 12 months to call the sheriff’s division.
Jamie Woodington, the president of the board of directors for the Kershaw County Humane Society, explained to NBC affiliate WIS of Columbia that Pennington resigned Thursday, citing unspecified particular good reasons, and that the costs you should not contain animals from the Kershaw County team.
NBC News has reached out to Pennington’s attorney for remark.
Her attorney, Ally Benevento of the Strom Law Organization, told WIS her consumer is going through mental health difficulties.
“This is an very tragic scenario with unimaginably horrific allegations,” Benevento said. “It is challenging for any one to comprehend how a person could permit to transpire what took place in this case, but there are some considerable and serious psychological well being troubles at play that Ms. Pennington is working with.
“She and her family are working by some incredibly tricky instances, and we respectfully request privacy and house so that she and her relatives can emphasis on the psychological wellness concerns that need to be resolved,” she continued.
Pennington was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Centre on Friday and released on a $75,000 surety bond.