HERTFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – An investigation into an animal hoarding case has resulted in charges in Hertford County.
Sheriff Juan Vaughn told WAVY.com investigators were calling this a case of animal hoarding, not a puppy mill. 60 Australian Shepherd dogs, including 13 puppies, were found on the property along Pine Tops Road and the owner of that property was charged with animal cruelty in connection to the case last week.
Vaughn said deputies were back at the property Monday after obtaining a consent form to have the animals released to them. Lt. Jessie Fennell told WAVY.com the owner was helping deputies round the animals up and hand them over to animal control.
According to authorities, the owner said he was breeding the dogs to sell them, but kept them instead. A veterinarian on site said many of the animals are underfed and malnourished.
Owner Terry Shinaberry told WAVY.com he wasn’t planning on breeding anymore: “I was overwhelmed. Sure enough, I was. People were bringing rescues all the time, and how am I supposed to tell them no? Can’t turn a dog away. I’m not that kind of person.”
The Humane Society of the United States removed the dogs from the home. The Virginia Beach SPCA, Norfolk SPCA, the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina and Guilford County Animal Shelter representatives responded to the scene to assist.
The Executive Director of the Norfolk SPCA, Robert Blizard, told WAVY.com, “The dogs came to us with a variety of conditions. We’ve got mange, we’ve go a lot of dogs who are underweight, some eye infections we’ve got blindness, deafness that sort of thing.”
Veterinarians and staff are now treating the physical ailments and behavioral issues. Blizard said the animals should be ready for adoption within the next two weeks.