South Carolina Man Charged in Horse Cruelty Case

South Carolina Man Charged in Horse Cruelty Case

This 3-year-old stallion allegedly had a mixture of kerosine and spent motor oil poured on his back, Steed said. She believes the owner might have been trying to treat rain rot with the mixture.

Photo: Livestock and Equine Awareness and Rescue Network

A South Carolina man is facing multiple charges in connection with an animal cruelty case that one rescuer hopes will encourage legislators to establish uniform livestock care standards in that state.

According to documents provided by the Berkeley County Attorney's Office, on Feb. 29 Berkeley County Animal Control Department personnel responded to a complaint about alleged undernourished and injured horses residing on a property in Summerville. On March 8, following an investigation, the department charged the horses' owner, Dwight McCloud, with three counts of failure to provide care or treatment for a diseased or injured animal; three counts of failure to provide humane treatment to animals; and one count of failure to provide adequate food and water. Penalties for each charge include a fine up to $1,092.50 or up to 30 days in jail, the documents said.

South Carolina Horse

This 3-year-old stallion allegedly had a mixture of kerosine and spent motor oil poured on his back, Steed said. She believes the owner might have been trying to treat rain rot with the mixture.

McCloud was unavailable for comment.

Elizabeth Steed, founder of the Livestock and Equine Awareness and Rescue Network (LEARN) said that two of the allegedly-maltreated animals--a 12-year-old Thoroughbred mare and a 3-year-old Medicine Hat Paint stallion--were removed from the property by animal control authorities and placed under LEARN's care. Two other horses, a Welsh-type pony mare and a Thoroughbred stallion, remain on McCloud's property. Berkeley County Animal Control personnel continue to monitor the condition of those animals, the County's documents said.

Steed said that at the time of the removal, the allegedly malnourished stallion had a body condition score of 0.5 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale. The animal also had severe chemicals burns on his body possibly from a mixture of kerosene and spent motor oil, Steed said. The mixture might have been applied in an effort to treat rain rot, Steed said.

"The burns were severe and were invested with maggots," Steed said. "He may have to have skin grafts in the future."

The attending veterinarian scored the Thoroughbred mare's body condition at between 1.5 and 2 on the Henneke scale, Steed said. Both animals are responding well to rehabilitative treatment, Steed said.

Nicole Walukewicz, chairman of the board of directors for the Palmetto Equine Awareness & Rescue League (PEARL), said that the case highlights the need to establish minimum care standards for livestock residing in South Carolina. Walukewicz said South Carolina law prohibits counties from passing or enacting their own rule regarding animal care and husbandry. As a result she would like to see legislation that either allows counties to establish and enforce their own minimum care standard for livestock, or legislation that would create such standards statewide.

"The counties' hands are tied," Walukewicz said. "At the very least, we hope this case will get legislators to look at the existing (agricultural and animal cruelty) laws and realize what deficiencies there are and fix them."

Neither State Senate Agriculture and National Resources Committee Chairman Sen. Daniel Verdin III, nor House Agriculture and National Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Nelson L. Hardwick were available to comment on the issue.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More

Free Newsletters

Sign up for the latest in:

From our partners