Bennettsville City Council plans to repair animal shelter conditions

Several came out Tuesday night to the Bennettsville City Council meeting to get an update on the conditions at the city animal shelter after 17 dogs were prepped for rescue.
Several came out Tuesday night to the Bennettsville City Council meeting to get an update on the conditions at the city animal shelter after 17 dogs were prepped for rescue.

BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Several people came out Tuesday night to the Bennettsville City Council meeting to get an update on the conditions at the city animal shelter after 17 dogs were prepped for rescue.

“We just came to council tonight because we wanted to keep this rolling,” said Jennifer Hyduke, President of the Marlboro County Humane society.

Hyduke said she is pleased with the progress the city has made at the shelter, though there is still more to be done.

“Oversight and staffing are a huge concern,” she said in her address to council. “We urge the city to make the necessary changes in all areas to make these changes permanent.”

The address came after social media posts about what many called deplorable conditions at the city’s animal shelter. Back on November 1st, 17 dogs were placed in kennels while Hyduke and several other volunteers cleaned the facility.

A local veterinarian then made sure all the dogs had the necessary shots and weren’t too sick to be rescued. Hyduke said all but seven of those dogs now have new homes.

“I spoke with the state director about that and she’s gonna help us move some of those dogs,” she explained.

Hyduke hopes the city will take more steps to protect other animals that may call the shelter home. Mayor Heath Harpe said he plans to do just that.

“Once those animals — the ones we’ve already vetted — are cleared out, then we’ll begin some internal repairs, some painting and ceiling repairs,” Harpe said.

The Humane Society — along with thousands online who have followed this story — was very pleased to finally see the old gas chamber removed from the shelter, and said it speaks volumes about the city’s commitment to protect future animals there.

“That’s a huge thing,” said Marlboro County Humane Society Vice-President Kenny Hinson. “That will alleviate anybody’s suspicion that it’s still being used as a form of euthanasia for the city.”

Mayor Harpe said that the new acting police chief will be monitoring the situation at the animal shelter, and the city plans to have the remaining dogs rescued and in new homes very soon.