Crime & Courts

Dogs thrown over fence ‘like basketballs’ at animal shelter and two died, cops say

Surveillance video captures dog throwing incident, Sumter SC police say

Sumter County Sheriff’s Office released this surveillance camera video they say shows two people throwing four Chihuahuas over the fence at the Sumter SPCA on March 2, 2019. Two of the dogs died sometime after they were tossed over the fence.
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Sumter County Sheriff’s Office released this surveillance camera video they say shows two people throwing four Chihuahuas over the fence at the Sumter SPCA on March 2, 2019. Two of the dogs died sometime after they were tossed over the fence.

Four dogs were thrown over the fence at a Sumter County animal shelter, and two of the animals have died, according to deputies.

The dogs were thrown over the fence at the Sumter SPCA around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the sheriff’s office said. Surveillance images showed two individuals throwing them over the fence.

Two of the dogs have died, according to the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Adrienne Sarvis said all four dogs were chihuahuas.

The dogs were not killed by being thrown — like basketballs — Sumter SPCA executive director Cindy Cook said in a Sumter Item report. According to Cook, the small dogs ran through gaps in the fence and were hit by cars, the newspaper reported.

“They were just trying to run back down the road to the people who dropped them off. We recovered their bodies, and we have the (surviving) male and female here,” Cook said of the dogs that only suffered “scrapes,” according to the Sumter Item. “The male, it took us over an hour to catch him because he was so timid.”

The two surviving chihuahuas that were thrown over the 9-foot fence have been named “Lucky and Destiny,” WIS reported. The SPCA said the dogs will be spayed and neutered and put up for adoption in two weeks, according to the TV station.

Details about the suspects were not available Thursday, and surveillance images have not yet been released. Sarvis said the sheriff’s office expects to have surveillance images of the suspects sometime Friday.

The people responsible will face at least four counts of ill treatment of animals when arrested, according to the sheriff’s office.

Felony ill treatment of animals carries up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each conviction, under South Carolina law.

The Sumter SPCA is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and receives animals until 4 p.m., while it’s closed Wednesday and Sunday, according to its website. It receives animals until 2 p.m. Saturday, just hours before the chihuahuas were thrown over the fence.

“If the people had come earlier that day, I mean we were here, we could have taken the animals in, and instead they chose to come at night when no one was here,” SPCA employee Crystal Prescott said, according to WIS. “It’s cruel.”

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 888-CRIME-SC or submit an online tip.

Witnessing animal abuse can be difficult, but according to the Humane Society of the Unites States, it is important not to turn away from animal cruelty. Here are tips to help stop animal abuse.

Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.
Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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