DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - A Darlington woman was arrested Tuesday after police responded to an animal neglect call and allegedly found five bone-thinned dogs tied up outside the home.
According to officials with the Darlington Police Department, the Pinehaven Avenue homeowner was not there when law enforcement arrived. They entered the residence and reportedly found four additional dogs living in what was described as deplorable conditions.
As police were loading up the dogs to take them to the humane shelter, the owner, Brittany Guffey, arrived. She reportedly told law enforcement she had been taking good care of the animals.
Darlington Police Chief Danny Watson disagreed.
"If you look at the dogs themselves, their ribs are showing, they're obviously malnourished and hungry and it's just terrible," he said.
The dogs allegedly did not have food, clean water or shelter, all three of which are considered factors of animal neglect.
However, according to the police report, Guffey claimed that she came to the residence every day to feed and water the animals. Officers immediately arrested and charged her with animal neglect and driving under suspension.
"This is so far removed from anything that would be remotely appropriate," said Watson.
Police were able to safely remove all nine dogs from the dangerous living conditions and take them to the humane society, where they were given plenty of food and water.
Staff at the humane society told police the animals were set to be evaluated on Wednesday. In the meantime, police were seeking warrants for the animal charges.
Watson has dogs of his own, and he hopes he never has to see neglect like this again.
"Animals are helpless. They depend upon us to take care of them if they're sick or if they're hungry," he said.