Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Kangaroo, alpaca among animals seized from trailer in Moncks Corner

Cute Baby Alpaca

Photo: Getty Images

A Moncks Corner man has been cited after more than 30 animals were found suffering from extreme heat over the weekend.

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Moncks Corner man has been cited after more than 30 animals were found suffering from extreme heat over the weekend.

Justin Culley was cited for inhumane care and treatment of animals, according to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials with Berkeley County Animal Control say a trailer was found abandoned with a flat tire in the Tractor Supply parking lot in Moncks Corner on Sunday afternoon.

More than 30 animals were found in what officials call “inhumane living conditions.”

The animals were transported to H. O. P. E. Acres Rescue in Bonneau where they are being given medical attention.

The rescue says the animals were covered in their own feces and were extremely dehydrated and malnourished.

The rescue took in the following animals:

One kangaroo

One alpaca

Four chickens

Eight ducks

Two rabbits

Seven pigs

17 goats, two of which were pregnant

One sheep

One mule

Two mini horses

One donkey

One horse

One of the rabbits was found dead, but officials aren’t sure how it died, Capt. Lee Mixon with the Moncks Corner Police Department said.

According to state records, Culley has a business called Culley Farms which is described as a mobile petting zoo.

Culley is denying the allegations, calling it defamation and that he is seeking legal representation.

He provided the following statement to Live 5 News Wednesday night:

Our business is being blasted and our name is being run in the dirt and nobody even knows the situation. We do not abuse our animals, we love our animals with all our heart. Anyone who knows us and sees us regularly knows the care, compassion and effort we put into our animals.

They are clean with shiny coats, well fed and are met with love and joy by everyone around them. We are heart broken because of what has occurred. All of our animals are treated as if they were our children. We take pride in our animals and enjoy sharing the joy of animals with our customers and anyone else who would take the time to spend with them at any event we attend.

The outrageous claims made that our animals were abandoned, malnourished and covered in feces is far from the truth. None of this is true and those who know us know this to be false claims. The situation was twisted and manipulated to make it seem as if we are abusive and neglectful.

We simply had a flat tire on the trailer, plain and simple. The trailer was backed into the shade, jacked up with the tire off and disconnected at Tractor Supply where I felt they would be safe so that I could run around the corner to Mavis tire. The tire was mounted, balanced and I returned back to the trailer to a nightmarish scene.

The animals were not seized, I voluntarily released the animals into their care under a temporary release. They also only took a portion of the animals, leaving us with many of our animals ranging from rabbits and pigs to ducks and chickens along with all of our domestic animals.

Do you think they would leave us with any animals if we were so unfit? You can see from pictures of our animals exactly how well kept and healthy they are, with the exception of the horse who was given to us in even worse condition. We have had her a short period of time and has been on weight-gainer for the last month. We want nothing but the best for our animals but also want to cooperate with the local enforcement.

Our animals will be released back to us. We take pride in what we do, we love what we do and we love our animals with every ounce of our being. We have bonds with our animals that half of you would never understand. We spend more money every week feeding each of them than most people even earn in a week. We devote all of our time and efforts into providing the best environment we possibly can. I know every animals name, their personality their demeanor and could tell you every detail about every single one of them. We would never knowingly gamble with their lives or jeopardize their well-being.

Officials with H. O. P. E. Acres Rescue said they are overwhelmed with the number of animals they’ve taken in.

“When we got the call about abandoned animals being left on the hottest day of the year, we were devastated,” President of H.O.P.E Acres Rescue Tracey Sawyer said. “We are a volunteer-run organization, with very limited resources whose mission is to support Equines, but we all looked at each other and said, let’s go, they need us. Our team has been working around the clock to build temporary shelters, get emergency medical care, purchase food and supplies. Right now, the 46 animals will remain in our care for the next few weeks while Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office conducts their investigation. Our job is to get them stable, and on a healthier path forward. Our priority is their care but we will not be able to take care of them without donations.”

More than 30 animals were found in what officials call “inhumane living conditions.”

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the incident.

For more information on how you can help H. O. P. E. Acres Rescue, click here.

HOURS OF OPERATION: by appointment only

Please call or email to set up an appointment.

H.O.P.E. Acres Rescue

P.O. Box 2037

​Goose Creek, SC 29445

(843) 412-3519

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content