Man accused of animal cruelty defends himself - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Man accused of animal cruelty defends himself

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By Brandon Herring - bio | email

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Len Crenshaw, the man accused of cruelty to a family pet, says he never intended to hurt the animal.

Crenshaw was arrested this week and charged with general ill treatment of animals/torture. The Horry County Police Department says officers found Crenshaw's dog "Buddy" in the back yard with multiple collars that were too small and embedded in the skin around the dog's neck.

Crenshaw said in an interview Friday he was upset about Buddy's condition, and he explained that he left too much of the dog's care to his adolescent sons.

"What happened was neglect on my behalf," Crenshaw admitted. "I let the children be responsible for the dog and in the long run the dog had to suffer. I'm not an animal hater. I love animals. I've had animals all my life. I grew up on a farm."

Crenshaw said he said he was trying to teach his sons how to be responsible for a pet. He said Buddy had food, water, and shelter, but he never noticed the dog's collar was too tight.

In fact, he said he gave his sons a new collar about a week ago when they mentioned Buddy's collar was getting too tight.

"I thought they took the old one off and put the new one on," Crenshaw said. "I never fathomed the thought they would not take the old one off. That's where you have to go back to they're kids and not adults. Some kids think like adults. Some kids think like kids. Mine thought like kids."

He said he also sprayed a veterinary antiseptic on the collar area because he noticed some skin abrasion. However, he did not realize how serious the problem was he said, and he did not realize his sons had only put the new collar on top of what was already there.

He said he feels the "torture" included in the charge goes too far.

"It wasn't inflicted purposely," Crenshaw said. "Yes, neglect. Torture no."

Kelly Bonome, the manager of the Horry County Animal Care center says she cannot be specific to this case, but she believes any pet owner has an obligation to pay attention to what is happening to his or her pet.

"If you chose to be a pet owner, be a responsible one, and if you can't there are resources to help," Bonome said.

She also encouraged people to call police if they suspect animal cruelty.

CRENSHAW said he has learned a lesson. He only hopes that others will believe that he did not mean to cause any harm.

"Honestly I didn't notice," Crenshaw said. "I'll take that to my grave if I have to. Only me and the good Lord knows the truth. I would never harm the animal."

Crenshaw will have the chance to defend himself when his case goes to court. If he is found guilty of the current charge he would be sent to prison for 180 days up to five years.

Copyright 2011 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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