One of the USA’s largest animal rescues: 600 animals

Is this story about a lack of adequate regulation by the authorities of North Carolina’s animal shelters managed by individuals? An animal shelter that was considered by some supporters as being good was, in fact, engaged in animal cruelty over a long time before action was taken to close it. Some supported it….

“I think they have provided a tremendous service in terms of the community, and certainly for animals. I would say they have dedicated their lives to basically taking care of them,” Moore said (Moore provided a home for the owners of this shelter).

Another person, a volunteer, said the shelter was well run. Perhaps they would say these things. But the problem is that this “sanctuary” in Raeford, North Carolina was failing badly for a considerable time but nothing happened. There were calls for the authorities to check it out, including on Facebook, but the calls fell on deaf ears.

I looks as if the authorities finally warmed up and took action first in September of 2015 when the state Agriculture Department noticed problems at the sanctuary such as inadequate medical care. This lead to the involvement of the Hoke County sheriff’s office who also brought in the ASPCA.

Finally, Stephen Joseph Spear and Linden Spear who ran the animal rescue were charged on several counts of animal cruelty. They have also been charged with possession of controlled substances by which I take to mean drugs. Is this another example of failure to manage one’s life through drug use as mentioned before by me?

There were 250 cats at the facility which extended to 122 acres. Many animals were suffering from respiratory problems, open wounds and malnutrition. The other animals were: at least 270 dogs, 40 horses and some pigs.

The problem is that shelters like this can hide what is going on for a while. In the meantime animals are suffering. Rescuing these animals must place a heavy burden on the ASPCA during the time it takes to get the animals back to health and rehomed.

We are told that the USA’s largest ever APSCA animal rescue occurred in 2012 when 700 cats were saved from a Florida establishment.

The Asheville Humane Society assisted in the rescue. It seems to me that when the authorities have to rescue animal en masse like this it is an indication of failure by the authorities due to a lack of adequate regulation. Am I incorrect?

Proper regulation is about taking proactive steps to maintain quality of care while rescuing animals from a rescue organisation is reactive and far less satisfactory because more animals suffer when things go wrong.


3 thoughts on “One of the USA’s largest animal rescues: 600 animals”

  1. I do know about this rescue. Been there many times. This isn’t to defend the deficiencies and I know they exist, but here are some things you won’t hear from the news report. This first one you just missed: the “drugs” are animal meds.

    There’s a lot of freaking out about the animals buried on the property. The Haven was there for 18 years. What were they supposed to do with animals that died? I would hate for the ASPCA, in its endless search for $ and attention, to dig up my yard.

    To my knowledge only one of these many animals has had to be euthanized. ONE, and it was in kidney failure. So much for how unhealthy and neglected they are.

    Dog pens sometimes were in awful shape. But the cats had little buildings — houses — insides chain link enclosures where they could be indoors or out as they chose. Each enclosure held five or six cats. It was pretty cool, actually.

    The Haven fully vetted and microchipped every animal. Linden would do whatever she needed to do to get an animal back if it ended up in a shelter somewhere.

    Some of these photos were taken of animals as they arrived at the facility. They didn’t get into that condition at the Haven; they arrived in that condition.

    People were forever dropping off animals at the gate in the middle of the night. The kill shelters around here are notorious for being kill-happy. People don’t want to take animals to them.

    Lots of politics involved in this too. The military and the police sent abuse cases to the Haven. Rescues and the shelters objected. Other objections had to do with the name. One public shelter in the area had a similar name until it was changed. Raleigh is home to Safe Haven, a rescue that loves to take animals from these raids and use them to raise money.

    There are many legitimate criticisms that can be made of The Haven and the Spearses. My point is not to refute those but to point out some other facts that you might not hear otherwise.


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