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Woman charged with dog fighting when Richland sheriff's department gets community tip

The State (Columbia, SC) logo The State (Columbia, SC) 2/2/2020 By David Travis Bland, The State (Columbia, S.C.)

A group of dogs were rescued from being used in fights, according to Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

After a person reported a suspicious number of dogs being held in the backyard of a northern Columbia home, the sheriff’s department arrested a woman and charged her with dog fighting, deputies said.

One of the dogs had scars from bites and scratches.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Fugitive Task Force arrested 35-year-old Chasity Katherine Hammonds Friday and charged her with “animal fighting and baiting.”

On Jan. 15, deputies went to check on Hammonds’ home on the 500 block of Atterbury Drive following the community member’s report. Deputies found six dogs “that looked malnourished and injured,” a department spokesperson said.

Bite wounds and other signs of fighting scarred the head, face and muzzle of one dog as if the animal had been used for fighting, according to deputies. The dog was kept in a elevated crate and “was not being treated for its injuries.”

Deputies obtained a search warrant and removed the dogs from the home. Authorities brought the dogs to the Columbia Animal Shelter where they were examined and treated for their injuries, deputies said.

Hammonds’ time to reclaim the dogs ended on Jan. 21, according to the department. The animals are now in the shelter’s permanent custody.

Deputies jailed Hammonds in Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center where a judge released her on a $10,000 bond and barred her from keeping any animals while awaiting court proceedings, filings show. She is scheduled for her next court appearance in February.

If convicted, Hammonds could be sentenced to five years in prison.

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