GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Georgetown County Sheriff's Office is investigating after photographs were posted to Facebook showing a pit bull dog whose ears had been severely cut.
A number of viewers reached out to WMBF News about the photos, which began circulating on social media on Sunday.
"I went on there, said what I had to say about it and he clearly said he did it, how he did it, and that was pretty much it," said Amber Mahaffey, one of several outraged Facebook users. "I told him I was going to report him."
Mahaffey and others were upset over a post that showed a dog with his ears cut, mangled and bloody, with a caption reading, "I just cut them." The ensuing comments included several threats, shaming the act and calling it animal abuse.
For Mahaffey, owns two pit bulls herself, she felt compelled to do something.
"Pit bulls are super mistreated, so once I saw what breed it was, I was already all over it." she said. "And then the fact that it was so close to home that I could do something about it just versus it being just some random person on the internet, then I would have felt guilty if I didn't do anything about it."
In one back and forth conversation, the poster admits to cutting the dogs ears, saying, "It's not illegal or cruel, the vet showed me how to do what I do."
Another post said a vet gave him sedatives to do the procedure himself. However, the Georgetown County Sheriff's Office incident report stated the man accused denied cutting the dog's ears or posting the pictures, instead saying he found the photos online and simply shared them.
"I mean it's surgery. Oh it's painful. It's a painful post-op procedure. They hurt. So you need the proper medication to alleviate pain. You need the proper after care." said Dr. Michael Kiningham.
Kiningham is a veterinarian in Pawleys Island. He said, "cropping," is mainly a cosmetic surgery.
Several states have made laws against cropping a dog's ears, unless the animal is taken to a doctor. However, there is no specific law regarding cropping in South Carolina.
"Maine, the last time I looked, was the only one that specifically stated. California certainly has some laws against ear cropping. Certainly several nations, a vast majority of nations in the world, prohibit ear cropping." said Kiningham.
According to GCSO officials, deputies did go to the home of the dog's owner after the law enforcement agency also received several complaints about the reported mutilation. A Georgetown County spokesperson said the case is still being investigated, but there have been no charges at this time.