More than 100 dogs turned over to Darlington County authorities following puppy mill investigation

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – More than 100 dogs were handed over to the Darlington County Sheriff's Office following an investigation this week into a puppy mill, according to DCSO Lt. Robert Kilgo.

Kilgo said the decision was made during a hearing in magistrate's court.

The investigation began Wednesday at a home in the 300 block of Rhodes Community Road, outside of Darlington, after law enforcement received a tip from someone in the community.

Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, investigators were on the scene taking pictures of the dogs on the property that were in outdoor kennels in the backyard.

There were also a few small dogs in the front of the property that appeared to be no more than 10 pounds.

An incident report from the Darlington County Sheriff's Office stated a woman was in the driveway when law enforcement first arrived. She said she was there to take care of the animals for her mother, who was in a medical facility.

The woman agreed to walk investigators through the property to check on the animals. The report stated authorities found several dogs in the living room and two more in a bedroom.

Dozens of dogs were reportedly found in a garage, according to the report, while several more were seen running loose in the yard.

"There were dogs in carports that were covered top to bottom in tarps, causing the animals to be exposed to high heat inside the tarps," the report stated.

According to law enforcement, approximately 109 dogs were seen on the property. At least two were taken to a local veterinarian's office for treatment after it appeared they needed medical attention for "possible life threatening conditions," the incident report stated.

Kilgo said Friday the case remains under investigation and no other information is being released at this time.

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