Malnourished horses, underweight pigs and a barrel of dead chickens greeted Laurens County deputies at a Gray Court residence, where multiple people are facing charges in connection with animal torture and a cockfighting operation, according to officials.
An emailed news release from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office said deputies went July 16 to a Hope Road residence in Gray Court to check on the condition of some horses. Once there, they found multiple unhealthy horses without access to water or food, many with overgrown hooves and teeth in poor condition.
Hogs on the property were underweight, along with rabbits, hens and dogs without access to water, the release said. Many roosters were leashed to the ground without water, and deputies found a barrel of multiple dead chickens, along with decaying chickens atop a cage.
More than 400 animals were found on the property, including 12 horses, 30 dogs, more than 350 chickens, four hogs, three piglets and eight rabbits. Items on the property led officers to think a cockfighting operation was run there, the release said.
Robert Milton Kellett III, 54, and Tina Messer Hurley, 50, both of 396 Hope Road, Gray Court were charged with nine counts of ill treatment of animals, and one count each of trafficking in meth or cocaine base, receiving stolen goods valued at $2,000 or less, and possession, conceal, sell or disposing of stolen vehicle.
Jeffery Justice Williams, 32, also of 396 Hope Road, Gray Court was arrested by the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office in connection with this case as well, and charged with a home detention violation.