A Rincon man was arrested Wednesday night after Effingham County Sheriff’s Office deputies found three dead animals and two emaciated ones in the home where he used to live.
Harry Fields, 39, was charged with five counts of aggravated animal cruelty, five counts of abandonment of a domesticated animal and three counts of improper method of disposal.
Fields is being held in the Effingham County Jail. Chief Magistrate Scott Hinson set a $38,000 bond for him Thursday.
Fields left the animals behind when he moved out of the Cypress Ridge Run house in Springfield, according to investigators. He had been gone “for a long period of time,” said ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.
Neighbors called the sheriff’s office Wednesday evening after hearing a cat meowing from inside the abandoned house.
Deputies “detected a foul odor near the front door and observed an extremely malnourished dog in a bathroom through a window,” Ehsanipoor said.
Along with the dog, deputies found an emaciated cat and three dead cats inside the house. Ehsanipoor described the conditions as “deplorable.”
“This is one of the worst (animal cruelty cases) we’ve ever seen,” Ehsanipoor said. “The dog was starving to death, and you could see it right in front of your eyes.”
Fields returned to the house on Monday and saw the condition of the animals, but did nothing, Ehsanipoor said.
“There is no reason for leaving animals to where they can’t fend for themselves,” he said. “To keep the dog alive like that until it dies is just torture.”
The dog and cat found alive were treated at Effingham Animal Hospital but the dog died overnight, according to Ehsanipoor. The cat is expected to survive, he said.