A starving stray led officials to two more emaciated animals tethered in a Mount Pleasant yard, resulting in the seizure of all three.

On Sept. 19, a woman found the dog, later identified as King, curled up in her yard off Huro Drive. He was microchipped but had no collar, and his skinny body was covered in sores, according to an incident report. He was friendly to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office deputy who lifted him into his truck.

King's former owner had sold him for $100 to Donnie Wayne Gilliard in 2018, he told the deputy. The puppy kept running away to Gilliard's home, and the owner was afraid he would be hit by a car.

Donnie Gilliart

Donnie Gilliard. Provided.

With King still in custody, the owner called to ask Gilliard, 54, if he could come visit the dog, and Gilliard agreed. When a deputy drove to the Gilliard home at 1132 Steven Gilliard Road, he found another dog, who looked healthier but had overgrown toenails and marks on his head, according to the incident report.

The deputy described the dog, Chauncey, as "filthy" and his surroundings as "horrible," with a 5-foot rope tethering him to a tree in a circle of feces and with a disgusting water bowl and no shelter. There was a bag of dog food on the porch.

Gilliard told officials he'd been in Florida for two months, according to the report.

Another dog, this one huddled underneath a junked vehicle in the back yard, was on a 6-foot leash near a filthy water bowl and a tray of "old human food which looked like garbage," according to the report. She was also emaciated.

All three dogs were taken to a shelter, and Gilliard was arrested Tuesday. His bond was set at $30,000 for two counts of ill treatment of animals.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Get the best of The Post and Courier, handpicked and delivered to your inbox every morning.