CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities are searching for the person who abandoned 11 dogs near an animal sanctuary just days before the Christmas holiday.

Deputies with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) said two crates with 11 pets were found on December 22 near the gate to Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary in Ravenel.

The facility’s director alerted the sheriff’s office, and a deputy from the animal control unit took the dogs over to the Charleston Animal Society.

Officials said the dogs are mixed breeds and some were puppies.

“It is unlawful to abandon pets. Anyone who cannot care for their animals must secure water, food and shelter for them,” the sheriff’s office said. “Leaving them outside an animal shelter does not accomplish this.”

Anyone who may have information about this should contact the sheriff’s office at 843-202-1700 and ask for Animal Control Deputy Caroline Sewell.