Mother of boy mauled by dogs charged with animal cruelty
Caroline Davis (Source: Dillon County Sheriff's Office)
DILLON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The mother of the 10-year-old boy mauled and killed by a dog in 2006 is now facing cruelty to animal charges out of Dillon County.
Bentley Collins was convicted in January of involuntary manslaughter. Collins' six dogs killed Matthew Davis in November 2006. Collins is now appealing that conviction.
On Thursday, Caroline Davis was charged with cruelty to animals after Sheriff's deputies were called to a trailer park at 135 Pleasant Hill Road in Dillon County. An unknown caller advised officers that there were dogs chained up and malnourished, as well as a dead rabbit in a cage.
When deputies investigated the claims, they found six dogs in the yard of the trailer, two of which were chained up and malnourished. An incident report from the Sheriff's office states there was old water in a bucket, but no food.
One of the animals, a white bulldog mix, was chained up and her ribs were showing and in "bad shape physically." Another dog had mange on its hindquarters and was also malnourished.
A rabbit skeleton was also found inside a rabbit cage behind the trailer, according to officers, as well as trash bags buried next to a septic tank.
The owner of the trailer park, Tonnie Lattermeyer, was issued a citation for keeping deplorable conditions at the location.
Officers seized the dead rabbit and the two animals on chains, as well as a sick puppy that was under the trailer, as evidence.
An agent of the Department of Social Services found conditions inside the trailer, including holes in the floor and walls, windows knocked out, one toilet not working and overrun, and a non-working shower, and deemed the home in deplorable condition, ordering Davis' four children - ages 3, 9, 15 and 16 - to stay with Davis' sister in Pamplico, SC, until the trailer was restored to livable condition.
Davis assured investigators that the conditions of the trailer were not her fault and it was the park owner's responsibility for upkeep of the grass and maintenance of the trailer, both inside and out. She said she moved into the trailer about six months ago, and it was in bad condition when she moved in.
Davis also told officers that the bulldog had been sick and would not eat and that the rabbit had been sick and died about three weeks prior. She said she had told her son to bury the rabbit, but he had apparently never done so.
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