From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
BERKELEY COUNTY, SC - Some say it was the largest case of animal cruelty in South Carolina history, and today, the man responsible went before a judge in Berkeley County for his plea hearing.
On Monday, Loney Garrett plead guilty to 10 counts of animal cruelty.
Back in February of 2013, Loney Garrett was arrested and charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty after police found over 200 dead dogs, and 45 others emaciated and starved at the man's Howe Hall Road residence in Goose Creek.
Michelle Reid is the Executive Director of Animal Rescue and Relief Inc. and said, "The magnitude of this case was larger than most any other case we ever worked."
Many community members, including Reid, came to the Berkeley County Courthouse on Monday to stand up against abuse, and to seek justice. Reid told News 2, "We are just here to speak on the animals' behalf and to voice our findings."
Some other animal rights advocates in the Lowcountry think the plea deal wasn't enough of a punishment. Joe Elmore, CEO of the Charleston Animal Society, explained, "We have such a set of weak cruelty laws, anti-cruelty laws, or penalties; that once we see so many of them plea-ed down, particularly in states that have high crime rates, we really don't feel that justice is served."
Officials say there will now be a pre-sentencing investigative report for the judge to consider before the sentencing, which is expected to be announced at a later date.
Garrett originally faced 43 counts of animal cruelty charges, but 33 counts were dropped. Officials say he could face five years in prison for each charge."
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