Tough Questions for Local Animal Control Supervisor
YORK, S.C. - "My dogs are taken care, they have food, they have water, they have attention," said David Morrison in March 2010. He was then under fire for the condition of the pit bulls he kept chained in his backyard. Now, all of Morrison's dogs are dead, most euthanized by the county vet to end their suffering. Others died before they could be removed from the property last week.
Officials started getting calls about the dogs this summer. They periodically checked on them. Despite their worsening health, York County Animal Control Supervisor Steve Stuber says the dogs were Morrison's property. "To take his property from him, we would have had to get...we have to get a search warrant to do that, to seize them." FOX News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked, "So you couldn't do that (in this case)?" Stuber replied, "Yes, we could have done that."
Stuber says the dogs were "severely suffering chronic starvation, exposure and heavily laden with parasites." Fogarty asked, "Why wasn't that search warrant sought out (to seize the dogs earlier)?" Stuber had no reply.
"Bottom line is they could have acted and should have acted much sooner," says Linda Stewart. She co-founded the Committee for Responsible Pet Ownership. "I think in defense of animal control, the judges, we have a few judges that just constantly dismiss these cases. Hopefully it can be a lesson learned, that these dogs didn't have to die in vain."
Animal control says Morrison pled guilty to nine counts of maltreatment of animals. Morrison declined our request for another on-camera interview, but maintains his dogs were in good health. Animal control allowed him to keep an English bulldog. That dog died, too.