South Congaree man charged in animal abuse investigation
South Congaree, SC - Lexington County Animal Control officers charged a South Congaree man with animal abuse after obtaining a video showing the man beating a dog with a blunt object.
Mark Anthony Rice, 26, has been charged with one count of ill treatment toward animals, which is a felony charge that can carry up to a maximum of five years of imprisonment, according to officers.
The video shows Rice beating a Cane Corso dog with a 2-by-4 piece of wood in front of his wife and a small child, officers said.
“After receiving the video our officers took the appropriate steps in tracking down Mr. Rice and, with the help of the Sheriff’s Department, took him into custody,” Lexington County Animal Control Director Roy Mefford said. “Animal abuse is not tolerated in this County.”
Officers seized three dogs and a cat from the home. The animals will undergo medical examinations and will be held by the Lexington County Animal Shelter, according to Mefford.
The Town of South Congaree Police Department also charged Rice with one count of second-degree criminal domestic violence for allegedly threatening his wife and one count of unlawful conduct towards a child for beating the dog in front of the child, according to South Congaree Police Chief Josh Shumpert.
Rice is being held at the Lexington County Detention Center on $30,000 bond.