South Carolina

Dogs were bleeding from their ears, and owner is arrested, Richland County cops say

Judith Dawn Haley was rested on animal abuse charges.
Judith Dawn Haley was rested on animal abuse charges. Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

Two dogs were found bleeding from their ears at a Columbia residence and now their owner is behind bars, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.

The dogs, identified as Labrador mix breeds, had open wounds to their ears for what appeared to be untreated flea bites, the Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.

Their owner, Judith Dawn Haley, aka Judith Blake Miller-Sweatman, was arrested on multiple animal abuse charges because she did not “provide preventative treatment and veterinary care” for the pets’ wounds, according to the news release.

While appearing in court Wednesday, the 54-year-old Haley surrendered 10 dogs and a horse that had previously been seized by Richland County Animal Care, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Those animals were taken on July 10, a day after sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a dead animal on the side of the road in the 2400 block of Heyward Brockington Road, according to the release. That’s in the Midlands area between Irmo and Blythewood.

The dogs were suffering from neglect, the Sheriff’s Department said.

“While on scene, investigators spotted several dogs at the home and realized they needed to act,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

Four of the abused dogs were identified as Great Pyrenees, according to the news release.

The dead animal was also identified as a Great Pyrenees, and it appeared to have been hit by vehicle, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman told The State.

Pawmetto Lifeline is helping efforts to find foster homes for all of the seized dogs, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Haley was taken to Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where she was charged with two counts of animal abuse and cruelty, according to the release.

The Sheriff’s Department said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division had an arrest warrant open on Haley dating back to 2009 because she did contract work as a private detective despite not registering with the state.

It is important all animals receive “appropriate shelter and care ... especially during these hot summer days,” Sheriff Leon Lott said in the news release. “To those with outside pets, ensure that they have the appropriate shelter, food and water.”

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.