Alleged puppy mill owner withdraws motion, dogs cleared for adoption

Alleged puppy mill owner withdraws motion, dogs cleared for adoption

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Motions were withdrawn by the defense team of Renee James in a court hearing Wednesday.

The withdrawal means the doors should be opened for the animals to be adopted through the Horry County Animal Care Center.

The withdrawal comes one day after

removed from the allegedly illegal dog breeding operation discovered last week.

Animal rescue group leaders say this case of animal cruelty is like nothing they've ever seen, and they're hoping tougher laws, could prevent it from happening again.

"I mean this is a pretty exceptional case, I mean, this was a blatant case of animal cruelty and neglect so just the photographic evidence alone from the animals and the veterinary testimonies will prove that," Shannon Prouty said.

Shannon Prouty the Director and Founder of the All 4 Paws Animal Rescue group, received about 40 of Renee James' seized dogs and saw first hand, the condition they were in.

The rest of the dogs, are with the Horry County Animal Care Center, dogs they say, came in miserable.

"They were afraid they didn't know what to expect, and once they started being held, and loved, and actually able to put their feet on the ground and sleep on a nice warm bed, their dispositions immediately perked up," Kelly Bonome said.

Although the dogs were originally considered to be in "good shape" rescue groups say their living conditions affected their health more than they thought.

"They were kept in deplorable conditions and the health conditions were directly related to the housing," Prouty explained.

"We're finding more and more issues, as we get them through surgery, we are finding other additions," Bonome added.

In cases of animal cruelty, Kelly Bonome, the Operations Manager of the Horry County Animal Care Center, says the state will compensate them for costs.

"As of today we're close to about 14,000 dollars," Bonome said.

Local animal advocate, Nora Battle, hopes the attention and publicity this specific case received sparks a movement.

".. and really view this as a great catalyst for change going forward,"Battle said.

Battle hopes the community will start contacting their state and local representatives and demand more serious animal protection laws and others, believe enough is enough, and strict punishment is needed.

"We should have an example to our community, that this is unacceptable and we should have a higher standard of care that's expected from the law side," Prouty said.

As for the dogs, several of them were adopted after James' hearing.

Kelly Bonome says more dogs will be ready for adoption as they get them into surgery.

However, dogs are available now for adoption at the center.

The center has about 30 dogs that have been spayed and neutered; those dogs are available now.

HCACC said it will continue to spay and neuter the nearly 80 dogs remaining.

Dogs that needed severe medical care are in foster homes with All 4 Paws Animal Rescue but will be up for adoption as soon as they are healthy.

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