SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A man was arrested Friday afternoon for animal cruelty in Woodruff.
The Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement Department responded to a home near Highway 221 in Woodruff Friday around 8:36 a.m. Officers said it was a part of a week-long animal cruelty investigation.
According to SCEED, officers seized more than 30 visibly neglected horses, multiple cats and one dog.
“There are several horses out there that are in extremely bad shape,” said Jamie Nelson, Director of Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement.
According to officers, the investigation led to the arrest of 56-year-old Paul Kica, who is accused of animal cruelty.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office charged Kica with 10 counts of 1st-degree ill-treatment of animals.
“In his mindset, he understands that several of them are in bad shape, but he loves his horses. He tells us he is doing all that he can do,” said Nelson.
For nearby horse owners, seeing what happened to the animals beyond the fences tugged on their hearts.
“I am devastated that 38 horses got to this point. It’s bad,” said Mary Moss from Big Oaks Rescue Farm, with tears in her eyes.
Moss is one of several rescuers that stepped up to offer assistance and nourish the horses back to good health.
“There’s no excuse. There’s help out there. You’ve just got to ask for it,” said Moss.
“We appreciate these folks. They didn’t have to do this and are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts,” said Nelson.
While the owner is now behind bars, it’s a long road of recovery ahead for the animals in their temporary homes.
“They’ll at least know they’re loved,” Moss said.
“If you are cruel to your animals in Spartanburg County, we will come take care of business,” said Nelson.
Kica was booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, Friday.
This is still an ongoing investigation.