Over 85 Dogs Seized, Owners Arrested
On November 2 at approximately 7:30AM, Animal Control Deputies responded to Millrock Church Road in Hickory Tavern in reference to multiple dogs in poor condition located within the residence. Prior to entering it was noted that even outside, the residence had a terrible odor and multiple dogs could be heard barking. Once inside, deputies observed the home to be in complete disarray with animal feces and urine covering the floor throughout. The floor was unstable in many areas and insect droppings covered most surfaces. Complete protective suits and respirator masks had to be worn by staff in order to enter the home. More than 48 dogs of various ages were in the immediate living area, with many hiding inside furniture, walls, and cabinets. No food was accessible to these dogs and the water available was not clean. In other areas of the home, over 15 dogs were located with no access to food or clean water. Some dogs were suffering from skin irritant issues and impaired vision. Two deceased puppies were located and other puppies were found in very poor condition, with their eyes matted closed. Laurens County Building Codes deemed the structure condemned. While working at this scene, it was discovered that the owners of the Millrock property owned another home at View Point Court in Laurens. Animal Control staff relocated to this address and discovered another 20 dogs in this home, surrounded by feces. Anderson County PAWS and Charleston Animal Society were present and assisted in retrieving dogs, as well as assessing them medically. Over 85 dogs were seized and transported to Anderson County where they will be evaluated and receive necessary medical care.
Allen Earl Bridwell Jr. and Kimberly Hockenberry Bridwell both of Laurens were charged with multiple counts of Ill Treatment of Animals in General, Torture and Ill Treatment of Animals.
Sheriff Reynolds had the following to say, “The men and women who battle animal cruelty are dedicated professionals. The despicable conditions they endure to rescue these poor animals out of such filth is beyond understanding or explanation. They are warriors for these defenseless animals and I have humble admiration for them. If not for Anderson PAWS and the Charleston Animal Society, we couldn’t have assisted these animals at the level necessary to take them out of such terrible conditions.”