Deputies: 80 dead animal bodies found in Upstate home - FOX Carolina 21

Deputies: 80 dead animal bodies found in Upstate home

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The home on Love Joy Lane where deputies say 80 dead animals were found. (May 26, 2013/FOX Carolina) The home on Love Joy Lane where deputies say 80 dead animals were found. (May 26, 2013/FOX Carolina)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Laurens County deputies said they are dealing with a deplorable case of animal cruelty after they discovered the bodies of 80 dead animals inside a house on Love Joy Lane.

Deputies charged Rebecca Keith and her two daughters, Amanda Keith and Sara Keith, with ill treatment of animals and failure to bury properly. The Keiths were released from jail on a $5,000 bond this weekend.

Deputies said animal control was forced to take 55 living animals off the property because of the poor conditions.

The home they were living in is a rental. The landlord told FOX Carolina he was horrified with what he found inside Thursday while serving an eviction notice after he says his tenants weren't paying rent.

"As we were removing stuff out, the fridge and freezer had dead animals, three or four dozen animals inside of a house freezer," said landlord Jason English.  

In addition to the conditions, including human and animal feces throughout the house, deputies said they found the remains of 30 dogs, 30 cats and dozens of birds, turtles, ducks, deer and parakeets - 80 animal carcasses in total.

"They were not wrapped or in containers, just ducks thrown in there, baby deer, fish, turtles hatchlings with rip written on them in their freezer with the food," said English. "You can't make this stuff up."

FOX Carolina spoke with a member of the Keith family Sunday, who said there's another side to the story.

"We have been harassed, stalked, everything," said Amanda Keith.  

She admitted a few dogs and cats were kept frozen, to honor their memory.

"We [were] never told it was illegal, even the vet told us we could," said Keith.

But Keith said the rest of what deputies claim isn't true.

"There was not, there was not 80," said Keith. "Where they got 80 I don't know; they're trumped up charges! It has been put here, that was not here."

But deputies said the family was not set up.

"No, nobody planted any of the animals there," said Lt. Bryan Cheek of the Laurens County Sheriffs Office. "In fact they confessed having them there. They could tell me exactly how long they were dead, this was what was in the fridge, this is what I'm going to find if I look in this bag. That's how we came up with 80 different animals, she told me that."

English will have to pay for the cleanup of his rental property on his own.

"I've been here since Thursday just trying to clean up and get some answers, I'm absolutely speechless," said English.  

Deputies tell FOX Carolina the family actually moved some of the dead animal bodies with them from their previous home, and the carcasses were up to 7 years old.

Animal control said 55 living animals, including horses, dogs and chickens were rescued from the home.

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