Crime & Public Safety

Hilton Head woman charged in Sea Pines dead dogs case, police say

Gale Omi Walden, of Hilton Head
Gale Omi Walden, of Hilton Head

A Sea Pines woman was charged Thursday with 18 counts stemming from an investigation that started when 12 dead dogs were found at her Hilton Head home, police say.

Gale Omi Walden, of 47 Lands End Road, was charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty, seven counts of fail to bury/burying improperly of a dead animals and one count of abandonment of animals, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center's website.

Beaufort County sheriff's deputies found 12 dead dogs and seized 14 dogs from her residence in April.

"They charged her today based on the investigation and the original findings of the dogs being mistreated," sheriff's office Lt. Col. Bill Neil said Thursday night.

Police were first alerted to the case after two Sea Pines security officers noticed a strong order while doing a welfare check on the house.

One of the security officers kicked a black trash bag near the back porch. He said in the police report, "it felt like a carcass of an animal."

Three dogs were found inside a car at the site. The car was not running.

All 14 seized dogs were put in the care of Dr. Marikay Campbell at the Port Royal Veterinary.

The Beaufort County Animal Shelter helped with the investigation and was assisted by the Sea Island Animal Hospital on Lady's Island and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.