2 women charged after 103 animals removed from Fort Mill house

FORT MILL, S.C. — Two women have been arrested and charged in connection with an animal cruelty case, according to the Fort Mill Police Department.

On Tuesday, officers were dispatched to 400 Unity Street after getting someone told police that they had witnessed dogs fighting in the backyard of the home.

Officers got there and saw what appeared to be a dead dog in the yard.

Multiple other animals on the property also appeared malnourished and were living in deplorable conditions, according to police.

York County Animal Control was then contacted and took custody of all the animals on the property.

The two owners of the home, 26-year-old Megan Kerr and 34-year-old Bianca Derboghosian, were arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty. They were taken to the York County Detention Center.

Danny Gambrell said he had seen between 15 and 19 dogs in his neighbor’s backyard.

“I’ve got the awfullest smell all this time,” Gambrell said. “I can’t sit in my backyard. I can’t sit on the porch.”

Gambrell said a neighbor saw big dogs attack a puppy.

“They killed the dog and she saw them pulling it, trying to pull it apart,” he said. “She called Fort Mill police, and the dispatcher told them to call animal control.” She told them, ‘No I want y’all out here.’”

It wasn’t until Tuesday that he realized how many animals were inside his neighbor’s house.

Animal control and police officers removed 103 animals from the house.

There were cats, dogs, and pocket animals, such as hamsters, snakes, and spiders.

Some of the animals appeared malnourished, and others were dead, officials said.

Gambrell said one of the snakes was several feet long.

“I hate snakes,” Gambrell said. “This snake was a yellow python. The lady brought it up right here in her car. They got it out of the cage. She wrapped it around her neck and was holding its head.”

He said animal control left hours later with five truckloads of animals.

Fort Mill police said they’ve been called to the house nine times this year mostly for noise and animal complaints.

Neighbors said no one answered the door when police came on several occasions.

The city of Fort Mill issued a stop work order to the homeowners because they were operating a pet boarding business without the proper permits, licenses, or approvals.

The animal control director said Friday that most pets seized from the house will be sent to other rescue agencies.

She said the shelter is full and they have taken in nearly 270 animals in a week.

They are taking donations and said if you’ve thought about adopting a pet, now is a great time.

Police said the investigation into this incident is active and ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

VIDEO: 49 miniature horses, 39 chickens seized amid Burke County animal cruelty investigation

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