When Columbus County Animal Control responded to a report of abandoned dogs just outside of Whiteville on New Britton Highway Saturday morning, what they found was almost beyond belief.
It’s believed the people living in the Eastern North Carolina home moved out over the last few days and left behind at least three dogs and four cats.
Due to the amount of filth and debris in the home officers are unsure of the exact amount of animals in the home. Officers were able to hear more creatures moving in the mounds of trash, but are unsure if there is wildlife there or more domesticate animals located within the home. Some of the cats were seen but could not be caught.
Animal Control Director Joey Prince stated
“We have no idea how many more may be in there. We have taken what we could see and have set traps for the rest. The smell in there is unbelievable. I highly commend my staff for entering such a place to save these pitiful animals”
Feces, urine and insect infestation inside the home was so bad the officers had to wear personal protective equipment before entering the home.
Visually, the cats appear to be in marginal to very poor shape and the adult dog appear saved today to be healthy enough to survive, but the puppies are touch and go at this point. All animals retrieved are covered in fleas and ticks, and animal control staff are working to correct that issue. The puppies are worm infested and have other intestinal parasites.
Charges are pending in this case, and the investigation and trapping will continue throughout the weekend and into next week.
According to North Carolina law Article 47. Cruelty to Animals § 14-360 construction of section
(a) If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
All animals seized are in the care of Columbus County Animal Control in Whiteville. This article will be updated should more information become available. Follow Elisa on Facebook.
Photos (courtesy of Joey Prince) were taken after the animals were cleaned up.