Gwendolyn Renee Rosamond, 35, is charged with a misdemeanor count of ill treatment of animals, first offense.
The dogs were turned over to the Charleston Animal Society after Rosamond didn't show up for a custody hearing last week, according to Aldwin Roman, director of anti-cruelty and outreach for the Animal Society. One dog, a small mutt, has been adopted while two pit bull mixes continue to regain their health.
A citizen called a Charleston County sheriff's deputy to Rosamond's home on Platt Road on Dec. 28. The dogs were outside.
The deputy wrote in an incident report that one of the pit bulls was tied to a tree with no access to water. The second pit bull was also tied to a tree and couldn't reach its shelter because the chain was wrapped around the tree. The third dog was found lying on the porch with no shelter or water, and its fur was extremely matted, according to the report.
"All three dogs were severely underweight with their ribs and hip bones protruding from their body. The dogs appeared to be so weak that they didn't bark when I got near them. The yard was filled with trash," the deputy wrote in the report.
The deputy was not able to contact Rosamond and left a 24-hour notice on the door.
The next day, the dogs were still outside in the same condition and the notice was crumpled up on the porch. A relative told deputies that Rosamond's dogs had not been to a veterinarian.
"They were standing and they could walk around, but they were very weak and very skinny," Roman said.
The pit bulls were severely emaciated and anemic, and they had fleas and intestinal parasites. The small dog's condition was not as bad, but its fur was so badly matted with urine and feces that the dog had to be sedated to be groomed. The dogs were treated for heart worms.
Roman said the dogs have made strides since receiving care at the Animal Society.
The pit bulls have gained weight. Veterinarians are monitoring their blood work but do not have any major concerns about the dogs' health. They did well on a behavior assessment, Roman said. They may be placed in a foster home before they are put up for adoption.
Rosamond was arrested Wednesday. She was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bond.
A first-offense conviction of ill treatment of animals is punishable by up to 90 days in jail or by a fine between $100 and $1,000, or both.
(Post and Courier - Jan 8, 2017)