A Fairfax man was charged Wednesday with animal fighting and ill treatment of animals — both felonies — after a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigation led to the discovery of “pit bull type dogs” on his property that had scarring on their faces, ears, necks and front legs, according to a news release.
Dwayne Loadholt, 43, is accused of owning at least one dog for the purpose of fighting or “baiting” and not providing adequate shelter, water or medical care to his dogs.
The dogs were brought to the attention of investigators when an Allendale County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a call for service Tuesday at Loadholt’s property after receiving complaints about animals being mistreated there. These complaints had also been made in the past.
The sheriff’s office requested the assistance of SLED.
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A search warrant was issued and investigators found the dogs with the scarring, as well as injectable antibiotics, which is associated with dog-fighting operations. Also found were “numerous pedigrees for the bloodlines of dogs.”
According to two arrest warrants, Loadholt knowingly deprived the dogs of “necessary sustenance and shelter.”
“Further, dogs on the property had eye infections, visible oozing wounds … dogs were fixed to heavy chains staked into the ground.”
The dogs’ shelter was damaged and the dogs had no water within the “limited travel” of the length of the chains to which they were tied.
A news release from SLED did not say whether agents seized the dogs.
Loadholt was booked at Allendale County Detention Center on Wednesday and released on a $5,000 surety bond.
The 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Officer will prosecute the case.
If convicted, Loadholt faces a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years imprisonment for the fighting charge and not less than 180 days — and up to five years — imprisonment for the abuse charge, as well as a $5,000 charge.
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Liz Farrell is the new executive editor at FITSNews. She was named 2018’s top columnist in the state by South Carolina Press Association and is back after taking a nearly two-year break from corporate journalism to reclaim her soul. Email her at [email protected] or tweet her @ElizFarrell.
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