MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Three people are facing animal cruelty charges after police say several dogs and puppies were found neglected in the backyard of a Myrtle Beach home on Tuesday.
According to a Myrtle Beach police report, officers responded to a home in the 700 block of 13th Avenue South after a woman said she heard whining and crying coming from her neighbor’s backyard. The woman also reportedly told police she saw several puppies in the backyard covered in flies with no water or food in their bowls.
An officer looked through the fence and saw multiple puppies and an adult female dog in the backyard panting heavily, the report states. Police say the woman brought over a pitcher of water and the eight puppies and the mother quickly ran to the bowl to drink. According to the report, the dogs had fly bitten ears, were infested with fleas and suffered from severe dehydration.
An animal control officer responded to the scene and said there was already an active case against the owner of the dogs. The owner was advised ten days earlier to get the dogs neutered and find homes for the puppies by the end of June, the report states.
Police knocked on the front door of the home, but no one came to the door. According to report, officers then went to the side of the residence where several more puppies were found lying in the shade. A female dog was reportedly found chained, and a male dog was running loose in the backyard.
Police say Jahmoy St. Jacques, 20, arrived on scene with two other people, identified as 21-year-old Keith Burris and 19-year-old Belyn Rodriguez, who all reside at the home.
St. Jacques told officers he had already been cited and still had a month to find homes for the puppies. Police advised St. Jacques he still had to take care of the them in the meantime, and it was “very obvious” they were neglected, according to the report.
St. Jacques also reportedly told police he did not want the puppies in the first place and did not care if they were taken away from him.
Police cut a padlock to gain access to the backyard and the suspects handed over all the dogs, the report states. Police say the animals were placed in patrol cars and transported to the humane society.
According to police, St. Jacques said he had left work three hours before and provided the dogs with water. Police told him that given the heat, a bowl or two of water is not enough for 21 dogs in the backyard, the report states. Police say based on the conditions of the dogs, it was apparent the neglect is not recent and had been happening for a long time. The animal control officer determined all the dogs on the property needed to be seized and transported to the humane society, the report states.
Police determined St. Jacques, Burris and Rodriguez were all aware of the dogs’ deteriorating conditions and did not do more to care for them medically, the report states. All three suspects were charged with five counts each of animal cruelty.
Police say all of the puppies had fly bitten ears, flea infestations, rashes, white gums, bloated bellies or sunken abdomens, umbilical cord hernias, bumps and scrapes. According to the report, some puppies had ticks inside their mouths and all were malnourished.
Personnel with the Grand Strand Humane Society told police several times how terrible each dog’s condition was, the report states.
St. Jacques, Burris and Rodriguez are all being held at the Myrtle Beach Jail.