Two Charged For Ill Treatment Towards Animals In Lancaster County

The Latest:

LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — The Lancaster County Animal Shelter took in 25 huskies that were victim to a hoarding situation. Those dogs are now getting the care needed for recovery.

The animal shelter has taken to Facebook to address the community’s concern over the situation.

On March 1, after having the dogs for around 48 hours, the first update was available. Two of the dogs were taken to Carolina Veterinary Specialists in Rock Hill for their critical condition.

As most of you know, we have received 25 husky dogs from a hoarding situation! Most of which are very malnourished,…

Posted by Lancaster County Animal Shelter SC on Sunday, March 1, 2020

Around a dozen dogs have been treated for basic care while others were in more serious condtion, the staff says.

“These dogs have endured things no dog should ever have to go through. Staff has worked countless hours tending to each dog, making sure they have all the care and vetting that they need,” Lancaster County Animal Shelter SC said in a social post.

In another update the animal shelter stated that some of the dogs have been signed over to Lancaster County. Some of the dogs have now been sent to rescues in Delaware and New York.

The shelter staff stated that none of the dogs are currently available for adoption due to medical reasons.

The dogs are currently on a special diet and if not fed correctly they could die.

“Our main concern is making sure these dogs are taken care of and survive,” Lancaster County Animal Shelter staff said.

Original Story:

LANCASTER, S.C. — Deputies say two people are facing charges after 10 dog carcasses were found inside a garbage 26 dogs and a cat were removed from a home in Lancaster due to poor living conditions.

Animal Control officers from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office say they executed a search warrant at a home on Pageland Highway in reference to a welfare check on several animals believed to be inside the home, according to a news release.

Officers with the help of a criminal investigator obtained a search warrant where they found 25 living husky dogs, including three puppies. Some of them were in crates while others were loose inside the house. A single cat was also in the home.

According to a news release, the conditions were extreme with two cages containing two dogs each, some of the cage doors were secured with zip ties and it appeared the dogs had not been out of the cages for quite a while. Also none of the animals had accessible food or water and all appeared malnourished and in ill health.

In addition there were also shavings and fresh as well as dried urine and feces covering the floor and the bottoms of the cages, and the accumulation of the material prevented some cage doors from being opened. Officers also examined the trash bags outside the home and found what is believed to be ten dog carcasses, officials report.

“Some of the officers involved on this call described the conditions of the animals and the home as the worst they’d ever seen,” Sheriff Barry Faile said in a news letter. “Our hope is that all these animals will be nursed back to good health and will find new homes where they will be loved and properly cared for. This was a massive undertaking. We had officers there all night processing the scene and removing the animals. Shelter staff and county government officials stepped up to make sure we did the right thing for these animals, and thanks is extended to all those involved.”

Steppes Stagvelt Starwolf, 62, and Stevie Jenna Starwolf, 53, the occupants of the home, were contacted and arrived Friday night with another dog in their vehicle.

All the animals in the home including the one brought to the scene were seized by the animal control officers and were transported to the Lancaster County Animal Shelter.

Both suspects were taken into custody and charged each of with Ill Treatment of Animals, according to officials, a felony which carries from 180 days to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.00.

Additional citations for failing to have the dogs vaccinated for rabies and for failing to bury the dead dogs have been made against the suspects.

The animals are being cared for by staff at the animal shelter where they were vetted and all were thoroughly cleaned. Additional information about the conditions of the animals is not available at this time including what will happen with the animals.

Anyone with information about this or any other case should call the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at 803-283-3388 or contact Midlands Crimestoppers in one of the following ways: dial 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or log onto and click on the “Submit a Tip” tab.