Charleston, SC (WLTX) - Deputies have arrested two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old in the burning death of a dog in Charleston County, according to Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon Friday.
The youths, who were not identified due to their age, were arrested and transported to the Charleston County Juvenile Detention Center, Cannon said. They are charged with ill treatment of animals, animal cruelty and unlawful burning. Cannon says they are continuing to investigate the incident.
On Tuesday, April 11 after 5 p.m., deputies responded to a call at 7120 U.S. Highway 17 in Awendaw, where a man found a dog burned to death, grass burning nearby and six teens walking away, according to an incident report. The man reported seeing six black teens - four boys and two girls - walking away, the report said.
Deputies say they found a chain wrapped around the dog's muzzle, body and legs, and its eyes were bulging. "It appeared the canine was dragged by the tight-fitting chains down the road and then set on fire," the report stated. Investigators could not determine its breed or sex.
In addition to being burned, a necropsy revealed signs of choking and possible lacerations, although no single cause of death, according to Sheriff Cannon.
In making the announcement, Cannon added, "Several years ago, we made the decision to make our animal control officers fully-sworn deputy sheriffs. We have found that very helpful in investigating crimes related to animals, as they have developed skill sets that they can bring into play."
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the case should contact Crimestoppers in any of the following ways:
TEXT “TIPSC” to CRIMES (274637), followed by the tip information.
LOG ON to www.midlandscrimestoppers.com, and click on the red “Submit a Tip” tab
There is a $6,000 reward for information in the case, donated by The Humane Society of the United States and Pet Helpers Adoption Shelter on James Island.