Shelter seeks person(s) responsible for dog’s torment

$250 Reward Offered for Conviction of Anyone Responsible

WINNSBORO – Around noon on Sept. 11, a Fairfield County Animal Control officer picked up a young male Pit Bull stray with wounds so gruesome that after he was brought into the shelter and photographed, the staff felt the need to attach warnings ‘before opening’ on some of the photos they posted on the shelter’s Facebook page.

Pepper was found with a two-inch deep gash around his neck caused by an embedded tether.

Those photos showed a gaping wound on the dog’s neck, a gash about two inches deep, completely circling the neck. A tether (cord) around his neck had cut through the flesh and was embedded in his neck.

“The cord was so tight around the dog’s neck we could only see it from underneath his chin [where the ends of the knotted tie were hanging down] near his jugular,” Samira Yaghi, a shelter volunteer, posted on the shelter’s Facebook page along with several horrific photos of the dog’s injuries. “Sliced through like a knife, the cord was so tight and so far in, the staff could not remove it. We could smell the infection from a distance,” Yaghi added.

In addition, the dog’s neck was swollen with fluid from the restricted circulation caused by the cord, according to the veterinarian report.

Unable to extract the cord, the shelter staff transported the dog they named Pepper to Blythewood Animal Hospital for emergency surgery.

Within hours, shelter volunteers had raised enough funds over social media to pay for the life-saving surgery to remove the cord.

At the animal hospital, doctors discovered two other lesser cuts circling the dog’s neck consistent with the beginning of other cords or objects embedding into the neck according to vet reports.

A veterinarian at Blythewood Animal Hospital removes the cord embedded two inches deep in Pepper’s neck.

The tether could have been embedded for up to three months, the report stated.

And there were other problems.

Malnourished and infested with heartworms, Pepper needs more donations for heartworm treatment.

The dog was reported to the shelter as a stray after he reportedly roamed onto someone’s property in the Greenbrier area.

Members of the Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society say someone in the community must know the dog and are offering a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the dog’s condition.

“We are hopeful that by offering this reward that someone will recognize this dog and come forward,” Kathy Faulk, a Hoof and Paw board member said. “When you see something like this, say something so we can all put an end to animal abuse and neglect.”

For now, Pepper remains hospitalized and will continue on extended use of antibiotics and pain meds with consistent cleaning, Bob Innes, Director of Fairfield Animal Control, said.

“What this poor dog has endured, for who knows how long is deplorable,” Innes said.

“Despite his painful injuries when Pepper was brought in, he was very sweet, wagging his tail, soaking in the kindness and care he was receiving.” Yaghi said. “We would like to thank everyone who donated toward his medical care. That support is the only way we can tend to these emergencies efficiently and immediately.”

Anyone wishing to provide information about the person(s) who neglected or abused Pepper, can contact the Fairfield County Sheriff’s office at 803-635-4141.

To donate to Pepper’s heartworm treatment, go to: https://www.paypal.me/friendsoffairfield.

Hoof and Paw Benevolent Society is offering a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for Pepper’s injuries.