The CEO of a South Carolina animal rescue nonprofit was arrested when police uncovered dozens of lifeless animals inside of her residence whilst investigating a complaint about the “smell of loss of life.”
Caroline Dawn Pennington, the 47-yr-old CEO and director of GROWL, was arrested Friday and billed with 30 counts of ill-treatment of animals soon after officers identified the bodies of 28 puppies and two cats decomposing in cages within her dwelling.
Richland County investigators uncovered the revolting scene when carrying out a wellness check out at her dwelling on May 22 following a neighbor reported a “smell of death” wafting from the Columbia residence.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott explained the discovery was a person of the worst conditions of animal cruelty he’s ever found.
“It’s appalling and it is heartbreaking,” Lott explained in a assertion. “This is an individual who was entrusted by the neighborhood to treatment for these animals and obtain them residences. She betrayed that have confidence in and she betrayed the have confidence in of these harmless animals who relied on her.”
The animals possible died from starvation and dehydration and are thought to have been lifeless for a important amount of time primarily based on the significant sum of decomposition, the Richland County Sherriff’s Office reported.
A spokesperson for the section stated investigators think the canine and cats experienced been neglected and on your own in the dwelling for up to nine months and died within their cages.
They were identified laying in their own waste, law enforcement said.
Pennington is a perfectly-recognized figure in the animal rescue neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina.
In addition to currently being the director of the animal rescue GROWL, she was also used by the Kershaw County Humane Society at the time of the incident.
The corporation indicated that she is no more time an personnel in a statement.
“We were unaware of the former employee’s steps and are certainly shocked and heartbroken,” Kershaw County Humane Society stated in a statement. “Our committed personnel will proceed with our mission to provide the misplaced and homeless animals of Kershaw County.”
Law enforcement are also investigating Pennington for attainable fraud as GROWL is a registered 501(c)3 non-income firm. The Richland County Sheriff’s Division is asking any one who donated to GROWL in the final calendar year to speak to them.