Rebecca Keith, 58, and her daughters, Amanda Keith, 33, and Sara Keith, 31, were arrested Thursday and charged with ill treatment of animals and failure to bury animals properly, WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, reported.
The Laurens County Sheriff's Office was alerted to the problem at the Keiths' home when they went to the house to serve an eviction notice to the women and smelled a foul odor. They then discovered more than 80 dead dogs, cats, birds and baby deer wrapped in plastic and stored in a refrigerator, freezer and other areas throughout the home and property, officials said.
The Keiths had been living at the property since October and said the family was emotionally attached to the animals.
"I guess you could say they're like family," Amanda Keith told WSPA-TV. "We didn't want to leave them behind. We've already had to leave so many behind."
The Keiths also disputed the number of animals found at the home -- they said there were only 20.
The three women have since been released from the Johnson Detention Center on $5,000 bond and have moved out of the house, the report said.