Plea Expected in Dog Case

WINNSBORO (April 29, 2016) – Three months after a Mitford man, Billy Ray Huskey, 48, was arrested on a felony charge of Ill Treatment of Animals for a Dec. 13, 2015 dog dragging incident, Assistant Solicitor Riley Maxwell of the Sixth Circuit Solicitor’s Fairfield County office said Huskey is expected to plead guilty in exchange for a misdemeanor charge.

Huskey’s case is expected to come before Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Bryan Gibbons on Monday, May 9 in Lancaster. The case is being handled by Assistant Solicitor Melissa Heimbaugh who referred The Voice to Maxwell for information, saying she did not feel comfortable talking to the press about the case.

Huskey is being represented by Rock Hill Attorney Robert Bruce.

Lt. Lee Haney, Animal Control Officer for the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, told The Voice in early February that additional charges could be brought against Huskey in connection with the injured dog as well as two other diseased and emaciated dogs that Huskey reportedly owned and abandoned along with the dragged dog, but those charges never materialized.

According to sources in both the Sheriff’s office and the Solicitor’s office, the dog was dragged behind a pickup truck, then all three dogs were dumped in a nearby woods near Carolina Adventure World about noon on Dec. 13. They were discovered two to three hours later by four women riding horses along trails in Carolina Adventure World. The women took the dog that had been dragged to the Fairfield Animal Hospital for treatment.

Although the veterinarian at the animal hospital, Dr. Robert Knight, said the dog’s injuries were consistent with being dragging behind a vehicle, officials with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s department initially told The Voice that there was no reason to think a crime had been committed. A week later, the Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society posted a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person(s) responsible for the dog’s injuries, and witnesses came forward in January, identifying Huskey of Forest Lake Circle near Mitford as the man they believed responsible for the dog being dragged.

The dragged dog, still undergoing treatment at the Fairfield Animal Hospital, is making remarkable progress in his recovery after a number of surgeries, vet tech Susan Knight said recently.

The two dogs found on the horse trail with the dragged dog were picked up the following day and brought to the animal hospital by Fairfield County’s Animal Control Officer David Brown. Knight and Brown said the two dogs had severe mange and appeared to be in a starved condition. One of the two dogs died a few days later, Knight said. The other dog survived and is still recovering under the care of the animal hospital. The Sheriff’s office has not brought charges against Huskey for those dogs’ conditions, Sheriff Will Montgomery said.

Huskey’s plea sentencing is expected to take place sometime after 9 a.m. at the Lancaster County Court House, 104 N. Main St. in Lancaster, Monday, May 9. The courtroom proceedings are open to the public.


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