SC judge orders woman to give up dogs on Belvedere property

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 7:11 PM
Last updated 10:21 PM
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BELVEDERE – A woman who owned dogs that police say mauled a 2-year-old Augusta boy over the weekend was sentenced today in a South Carolina courtroom on unrelated citations involving other dogs.

Barnes  Preston Sparks/Staff
Preston Sparks/Staff
Barnes

Magistrate Judge Roger Edmonds ordered Shirley Barnes to serve 270 hours of community service and repay in monthly installments more than $1,800 in animal control boarding costs and other fees.

“It’s come to an end,” the judge told Ms. Barnes, who was found guilty of eight inoculation violations and one animal nuisance charge involving two dozen dogs at a home on Audubon Circle in Belvedere. “You’ve had way too many dogs at your property.”

The dogs – 20 adults and four puppies – were picked up last week by Aiken County animal control officials because of continued neighbor complaints of barking and foul odors coming from the back yard, the judge said.

Ms. Barnes’ citations dated back to June 22 following a report that some of her dogs had gotten loose in the neighborhood.

Judge Edmonds said the dogs were part of an animal rescue operation Ms. Barnes runs called Hearts for Animals. He said it wasn’t the first time Ms. Barnes had faced citations involving the dogs, having been told in December to no longer have dogs at the home.

As part of his ruling today, Judge Edmonds again told Ms. Barnes that she is to have no more dogs at the Audubon Circle home. He also agreed to allow 10 of the 24 dogs seized to be turned over to a boarding home in Edgefield, where they can either be adopted out or returned to Ms. Barnes only if she finds another suitable location. The other dogs will remain at animal control.

“Everybody who knows me, knows those dogs wouldn’t harm anybody,” Ms. Barnes said. She said she has done everything she could to keep the dogs and the community safe, and that the entire episode has been upsetting.

Ms. Barnes said the dogs at animal control would be available for adoption and she pleaded for the public to respond.

The weekend attack in Augusta at a home on Belair Road left Damien Chavous in critical condition. Authorities say the child somehow got over a fence and into the yard where he was attacked by four dogs. On Tuesday, Richmond County sheriff’s investigators arrested his mother on child cruelty charges for not monitoring his activity. Family members have said the child was playing unattended for about 10 minutes on his family’s deck before they noticed he was in the other yard.

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Nammy3
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Nammy3 07/14/09 - 07:30 pm
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Uh oh, this could come back

Uh oh, this could come back to haunt her..."He said it wasn’t the first time Ms. Barnes had faced citations involving the dogs, having been told in December to no longer have dogs at the home." Perhaps this is two different addresses?

Happy Camper 455
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Happy Camper 455 07/14/09 - 07:43 pm
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Yes Nammy! Two different

Yes Nammy! Two different address's. One in Belvedere and the one near Belair. Least that is HOW I read it. This story just gets stupider and stupider. That child needs to go in foster care, or with a responsible family member. If he makes it. Kill the damn dogs.

Boogaloo
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Boogaloo 07/14/09 - 07:59 pm
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Who is stupid enough to board

Who is stupid enough to board a bunch of flea bitten critters? Stray dogs should be euthanized for their good and everybody elses. This love affair with stray mutts is pretty dumb.

Nammy3
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Nammy3 07/14/09 - 08:08 pm
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RL~Did you go puke yet? What

RL~Did you go puke yet? What says I care more for the animals than this child? State ANY where you see I've said any such thing?!!

Nammy3
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Nammy3 07/14/09 - 08:11 pm
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Nammy loves animals more than

Nammy loves animals more than people. Nammy cares more about the poor precious pups who have lost their freedom than she does for the poor child fighting for his life. That just makes me sick. YOU make me sick. Posted by Rain Lover on Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:48 PM~~~~where do I say this? Go ahead and prove it! Show me! YOU can't! Now go puke! And quit puking all over this site! Jeez! CHILDREN!

Rolling Eyes
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Rolling Eyes 07/14/09 - 08:18 pm
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I have no reason to doubt

I have no reason to doubt that Ms Barnes has kind intentions regarding the rescue of unwanted dogs. Instead of finding a home for them, many people will simply dump out a pet that is no longer wanted. Then off they drive with a 'clean' conscience since they didn't kill the animal. They expect that someone else will take over the responsibility of their pet. If you see a stray call one of the agencies that exists for the express purpose of dealing with such animals. Collecting large numbers of dogs out of kindness sake is NOT an act of kindness to ones neighbors. Having to listen to the barking, dog fights, having to put up with the smell and worry about strange dogs getting loose is an unacceptable expectation for the dog collector to force upon their neighbors. It makes their life unpleasant and will pull down property values should someone want to sell their home near you. You have a responsibility to them (neighbors) before you have a responsibility toward a stray dog.

Mac
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Mac 07/14/09 - 08:55 pm
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Good Grief, Nammy....... can

Good Grief, Nammy....... can you say OVER-reaction???

TakeAstand
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TakeAstand 07/14/09 - 09:29 pm
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Well put Rolling Eyes!!! And

Well put Rolling Eyes!!! And Mac... considering the nasty comment made to Nammy, I don't think it was an over reaction, it was actually a pretty mild reaction. I'd have said much more!!! lmaoooo

bone
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bone 07/14/09 - 09:37 pm
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great post, rolling eyes.

great post, rolling eyes. i've felt the same way all along but wasn't able to articulate my thoughts as concisely as you.

O_O
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O_O 07/14/09 - 11:43 pm
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It's about time. Passion not

It's about time. Passion not restrained by good judgment and appropriate priorties produces exactly the kind of awful situation. Nice, kind and well-intentioned as Ms. Barnes may be, she didn't exercise much sense, IMO, and she didn't place the welbeing of her neighbors above that of all those beasts. That's really off.

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