ASPCA Concludes Assistance in Neglect Case Involving More Than 1,700 Animals Seized from Roy’s Aquarium in Beaufort, S.C.

ASPCA demobilizes temporary shelter as animals are placed by local authorities
August 1, 2017

Beaufort, S.C.—For nearly two weeks, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has been assisting the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Services with the investigation, removal and sheltering of more than 1,700 animals of various species – including fish, reptiles, birds, gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs – living in deplorable conditions at a defunct pet store called Roy’s Aquarium in Beaufort, S.C.

Following the search warrant, the animals were transported to a temporary shelter and cared for by ASPCA responders while the Beaufort County Animal Services led efforts to place animals with rescue organizations and shelters in the area. On Sunday, the ASPCA helped load more than 80 animals, including hamsters and guinea pigs, on a transport vehicle managed by the Charleston Animal Society. Placement efforts are still underway and the ASPCA is expected to wind down its operation as the last group of animals are placed by the Beaufort County Animal Services.

“Upon arriving at the facility, it was clear that these animals needed our immediate help and intervention,” said Kathryn Destreza, Director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “Because the community voiced their concerns and the local authorities took swift action, these animals are spared of further suffering and neglect. We’re pleased to be able to lend our expertise and resources to assist the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Services with the investigation.” 

The Beaufort County Animal Services initiated the investigation in mid-July after receiving numerous complaints of animal neglect at Roy's Aquarium, and subsequently contacted the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and the ASPCA for assistance. On July 18, a search warrant was executed, during which investigators discovered many animals exhibiting signs of neglect, some with no access to food or water. ASPCA responders assisted local authorities in documenting forensic evidence and provided critical care to stabilize the animals at the facility. Local veterinarians also assisted in the care and treatment of the animals.

Beaufort County Animal Services reports that many of the animals seized from the store will be made available for adoption at an event at Petco in Bluffton on August 19.