KERSHAW COUNTY, SC — A Kershaw County man has been arrested after deputies Tuesday seized 12 dogs and nine puppies believed to be used in a dog-fighting ring.
Burton Lushawn Mincey, 42, is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, narcotics violations, possession of pistol by a person prohibited, and 21 counts each for ill treatment toward animals and owning an animal for the purpose of fighting, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said.
Deputies got a tip about possible narcotics being sold at the suspect’s Barron Dekalb Road home, Matthews said. A narcotics officer talked with the suspect at the home days before he was arrested and saw several dogs tied up with heavy chains in plain view outside the home, Matthews said.
Deputies returned to the home Tuesday with officers from Kershaw County Animal Control and the state Probation, Parole and Pardons office and executed a search warrant. They seized the dogs, all pit bull mixes, along with drug paraphernalia, a stolen motorcycle and materials used to make and sell crack cocaine, Matthews said.
Deputies also found heavy logging chains used to tie up animals, shock collars, bite sticks, and steroidal and medical injections. They also found treadmills inside a dark trailer where dogs allegedly were kept on occasion, Matthews said.
The dogs were all taken to the Walter Crowe Animal Shelter, Matthews said, but two of them already had to be euthanized. The dogs, each in separate cages, tried to fight while en route to the shelter, damaged their cages and injured themselves, he said.
The shelter is now trying to bring the dogs back to health, said spokeswoman Sharon Jones. The animals all have a tough road to recovery, Jones said, and shelter officials are hopeful they can rehabilitate some of the animals.
“It is going to take a long time,” she said. “It’s not something that can be taken care of overnight or next week.”
Mincey is in custody at the Kershaw County Detention Center. He also is wanted in Lancaster and Greensboro County, Ga., on outstanding arrest warrants, Matthews said.