Woman arrested for cruelty to pig

Moments after this photo was taken, the pig was humanely euthanized. Veterinarian Robbie Chappell estimated the once 300 pound animal had lost about 175 pounds over one to two months from starvation and neglect.

WINNSBORO – Lirhonda Butler, 41, was arrested March 27, 2017, and charged with ill treatment of animals, in general, overworking, first offense.

Acting on a tip from a citizen that Butler was abusing a hog in her care, Fairfield County Animal Control Director Bob Innes called for a Fairfield County Sheriff’s Deputy to meet him at Butler’s 133-acre property on Richtex Road between Highway 215 and the Broad River. They were also joined by Veterinarian Robbie Chappell.

According to the incident report, Innes found a severely malnourished hog lying on its side, unable to move, in deep mud and feces in the corner of a brick room of an outbuilding. The only door opening to the room had been boarded up with screws from the inside of the room so the hog could not get out. The only access was through an open window high above the ground.

Innes reported that there was no food in the room, but there was a barrel cut in half with “rusty water with algae present, very polluted.”

Innes reported that he could see through the window that the pig was not moving and had labored breathing. He stated that the pig could only make noices and appeared to be suffering and dying. Innes reported that the pig appeared not to have been cared for in a very long time.

The report stated that Butler told the deputy that she had owned the pig for four years, since it was nine weeks old The deputy reported that Butler initially said she fed the pig daily but that she found it in bad condition that morning and that it refused to eat.

Unable to enter the room through the boarded doorway, the deputy and Innes climbed through the window and walked on boards they laid across the mud floor to reach the pig who, Innes reported, was covered in feces and cold to the touch. He advised that the pig was very malnourished and that it could not have gotten in to that condition over the course of a few days.

Veterinarian Robbie Chappell assessed the pig, reporting , “I examined a severely malnourished hog. The body condition score was a 1 on a 1-5 scale. This indicates severe starvation. The hog was unable to rise, had severe white dysentery, subnormal body temperature and dehydration. This indicates prolonged starvation at least three to four weeks to two months.”

Chappell reported that the pig should have weighed 300 pounds but weighed about 120 pounds.

The report stated that Chappell said it was pure neglect and cruelty. He reported that the pig would probably not survive the night and, with Butler’s permission, humanely euthanized the pig with a rifle shot, the report stated.

The charge of ill treatment of animals, in general, overworking, first offense, Section 47-1-40 (A), is a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by up to 90 days in jail or a fine of less than $100.

A court date has not been set for Butler who was released on a $5,000 bond.