Greenville, SC (WSPA) – Monday’s press conference at the Greenville County Sheriffs Office, brought tougher penalties for those arrested for animal cruelty.
Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown announcing a new position to solely focus on cruelty cases and bring violators to justice.
Recent horse attacks and a call from Governor McMaster, prompted the sheriff to create a new position.
This new officer will work with animal control and investigate animal cruelty cases also implementing possible fines and even jail time.
“The county does have a animal control unit, but they are not certified, so they can only make misdemeanor arrest,” said Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown, Greenville County Sheriffs Office.
The new position will be filled by a certified police deputy, giving them the legal right to bring felony charges against those who are cruel to animals.
The felony charge carries with it fines and possible jail time.
Aside from the recent horrific crimes horses, investigator say studies show someone who is cruel to animals is generally eventually cruel to people.
“If someone is doing that it’s like oh my gosh – what else have they done,” Stephanie Anderson, horse owner
Stephanie Anderson is a horse owner and lover. She appreciates the effort law enforcement is putting into protecting animals.
“I do agree with that and I hope that people who are truly cool the animals will get punished for that,” said Stephanie.
“Even Governor McMaster called me a couple of weeks ago because he was concerned,” said the sheriff.
With various agencies reporting that at least five horses have been stabbed or shot across Greenville, Spartanburg and polk counties and the call from Governor McMaster to the Greenville and Spartanburg Sheriff’s, making the penalties tougher and the stakes are higher.
“Now we can provide a direct Avenue for the community to call us when they see or hear of or know about animals that have been abused,” said the sheriff
For nuisance calls like dogs barking or stray dogs you still call animal control. However, once the new deputy position is filled, the public can report animal abused by calling the sheriff’s office directly.
The county administrator granted the position after the sheriffs request, approving more than a hundred thousand dollars to cover the officers salary, equipment, training and a vehicle.