Rock Hill man charged after dogs found dead; chained, without food or water, cops say

Rock Hill police have arrested a man after two dogs were found dead, chained to a tree without food or water.

Stanford Bernard White Jr., 34, was arrested and charged early Friday with three counts of ill treatment of animals, said Lt. Michael Chavis of Rock Hill Police Department.

White turned himself in after police issued a news release Thursday saying officers had arrest warrants against White, Chavis said.

The Herald was first to report the dogs were found dead Oct. 18 at a home on Franks Street. After testing, the dogs were found to have died from the lack of food and water, Chavis said.

A third dog was found alive in a cage but also had no food or water, police said. That dog was treated at a veterinarian’s office and is expected to recover, Chavis said.

In September, York County Council enacted a new county law making tethering of dogs illegal. Use of a chain is prohibited under the new county ordinance.

The new law also defines rules for adequate food and disposal of dead animals.

Chavis said White was charged under existing South Carolina laws that ban cruelty to animals.

Ill treatment of animals resulting in death is a felony that carries up to five years in prison for each conviction, under South Carolina law.

The law states: “A person who tortures, torments, needlessly mutilates, cruelly kills, or inflicts excessive or repeated unnecessary pain or suffering upon an animal or by omission or commission causes these acts to be done, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment of not less than one hundred eighty days and not to exceed five years and by a fine of five thousand dollars.”

The ill treatment of animals without death is a misdemeanor that carries up to two years for a conviction, state law shows.

White was given a $7,500 bond after appearing in Rock Hill Municipal Court Friday morning, officials said.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.