Easley rescue owner responds to allegations of animal abuse - FOX Carolina 21

Easley rescue owner responds to allegations of animal abuse

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Some of the kennels on Sheridan's property. (Feb. 27, 2014/FOX Carolina) Some of the kennels on Sheridan's property. (Feb. 27, 2014/FOX Carolina)
EASLEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Its been a week since more than 100 animals were seized from an Easley animal rescue and brought into Anderson County PAWS.

Officials said the animals are gaining weight quickly because they're now being fed properly.

However, their owner, Deborah Sheridan, said she's been unjustly charged with ill treatment of animals and improper burial. She invited FOX Carolina on a tour of her property and rescue site.

She has run Golden S Rescue for eight years, and said she keeps from 100 to 130 animals there at one time.

Sheridan does not breed animals, instead she takes in dogs and cats from shelters. Many are sick or elderly and would otherwise be put to sleep. But officials still claim this wasn't a rescue because the conditions they said the animals were in had some serious problems.

"Those animals should never have been taken to start with, and I'm working right now to get them back," said Sheridan.

Officials said the seized animals are now at PAWS, in limbo. A judge will decide if the animals should go back to their owner or be adopted to new homes by PAWS. Court dates have been set for next month.

Officials said the dogs and cats are now in stable condition, but blame Sheridan for what they say are serious medical conditions like malnourishment and mange.

Sheridan however said the animals were sick long before she rescued them. She said she adopted them to save them from being put down, and some had arrived just days before they got seized.

"I don't just go in looking for the pretty dogs, as long as they aren't suffering, I think they should be able to live their natural life. We don't put down our grandparents or parents," said Sheridan.  

Sheridan claims she's been caring for the animals as if they were her own children, and showed FOX Carolina a few medical records dated less than a month ago. She also has kept several recent receipts for pet food totaling in the hundreds of dollars. FOX Carolina spoke with Sheridan's vet who didn't want his name released but described Sheridan as a caring pet owner. He said he does not agree with the charges she faces.

Anderson County Animal Control said they can not respond to some of those claims because the case is still in litigation, but they are confident Sheridan broke the law and her animals were abused.

Officials said the animals will be held at PAWS until this is resolved. The shelter is asking for Purina puppy and kitten food, as well as puppy pads and volunteers to help care for the large intake.

FOX Carolina also learned that Sheridan's non-profit has been under suspension by the Secretary of State for two years because she didn't file the right paperwork. Sheridan said that is currently being resolved.

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