Local Chinese try to aid quake relief effort

People injured in Monday's earthquake receive medical treatment Friday inside a makeshift clinic in Heishui county, which neighbors the quake-hit areas of Wenchuan, Lixian and Maoxian, in southwest China's Sichuan province.

He Junchang

Brad Nettles // The Post and Courier

A dog waits in a kennel as Charleston Animal Society shelter workers process a number of animals seized from a rural house in Huger late Tuesday, including dogs, a cat, geese, ducks, chickens, a goat, a horse and a pig.

If you have any extra chicken feed, the Charleston Animal Society could use a bag or two.

About 30 chickens were among the dozens of pets and farm animals seized Tuesday from a rural house in Huger by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

The animals were taken to the society's shelter on Remount Road, where staff members who already had put in full days stayed on to help take in the rescued animals.

Shelter spokeswoman Kay Hyman said about 15 dogs, one cat, a billy goat, a pig, geese, a horse and all those chickens had been brought in by 10 p.m. The total number of animals was unclear because authorities were still trying to round them all up.

Sheriff's Maj. John Clark said the animals were seized from a house on Halfway Creek Road in a portion of Huger that is in Charleston County. He said the seizure was a result of an investigation that began last week when deputies were called to the property for a domestic dispute. He said the man from whom the animals were seized is 80 years old and unable to care for the animals.

No charges had been filed in the case as of Tuesday, Clark said.

Volunteers with the Charleston County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad assisted sheriff's deputies and animal control officers, who spent much of the afternoon and evening rounding up the animals.

Dr. Lucy Fuller, a veterinarian at the shelter said the horse, a young gelding, was about 200 pounds underweight but was not emaciated. She said his hooves were in bad condition.

"Some of the dogs are absolutely fine," Fuller said. "But most are in poor, if not severely grave, condition. One's got some bad skin. Another has infections around his eyes."

Asked how people could help the shelter deal with the large influx of guests, Fuller said, "We always need voluntary contributions. Anybody who has any spare chicken feed, that would be great."

Pearl Sutton, the shelter's director of operations, said she wishes people would call the shelter before allowing their animals to suffer neglect.

"We work so hard every day to save lives," Sutton said. "If you're feeling overwhelmed, if you're feeling like you have nowhere to turn, come to us. It doesn't have to come to this."

In addition to the large number of animals seized in Huger, the shelter is expecting animal refugees from the floods in Louisiana tonight, Hyman said.

"We're going to be receiving 40 dogs and 21 kittens tomorrow at 10 p.m.," she said.