A dog and cat rescuer is facing years behind bars.
The CEO of a South Carolina animal rescue group was arrested on 30 counts of ill-treatment of animals.
According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, authorities found 30 deceased cats and dogs in her home.
Animal Rescue CEO Arrested For Animal Cruelty
Last month, law enforcement responded to a call saying there was a “smell of death” coming from the CEO’s, Caroline Dawn Pennington, home.
Sadly, law enforcement encountered a very grim situation upon arriving to the home.
The animals were found dead in cages filled with their own waste. 28 dogs and two cats were among the deceased.
Caroline Pennington Left Cats & Dogs Dead For Months In Cages
Law enforcement believe the animals perished several months prior from starvation and dehydration. Investigators believe the 30 animals had been in the home for at least nine months.
“The home was in disrepair from general neglect,” said investigator, Lt. Joe Clarke. “The surfaces of the floor and the cabinets were covered in fecal matter, there were areas you could tell these animals had urinated. It smelled bad, it’s summer, it’s humid. As we were walking through the home, we kept finding dead animals in carriers… Some were unidentifiable as dogs or cats.”
Per reports, Pennington was an employee at the Kershaw County Humane Society and director of non-profit animal rescue group GROWL.
According to WSPA, GROWL is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Investigators said to contact RCSD if you have made documented donations to GROWL in the last year.
Richland County Animal Control worked with RCSD to remove the animals from the home.
Pennington was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center and her bond was set at $75,000.00 on Friday, June 3.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. is investigating her fraud as well. She was reportedly collecting donations for rescue efforts.
“If you’ve done business with this woman or had contact with her, given her any kind of money, or given her products to help her animal rescue in the last year, we’d like to talk to you,” Lt. Clarke said. “Don’t hesitate to give us a call.”
Pennington Is Also Being Investigated For Fraud
The CEO reportedly resigned from her role at the Kershaw County Humane Society on Thursday, June 2, where she had handled staff scheduling for the past four years.
Jamie Woodington, Director of Kershaw Humane Society, described Pennington as a “hard worker” and “nice woman.”
“She is very outgoing, she is well spoken, she was always conveying herself as someone who wants to do the right thing for all animals,” Woodington said.
If you have any information regarding this situation or Pennington, call Crimestoppers at 1-888-Crime-SC.