The number of animals taken from a no-kill shelter in Hoke County, N.C., has risen to nearly 700.
Hoke County sheriff’s deputies and about 140 ASPCA staff members cleared the last of the animals off the 122-acre property Saturday, officials said Monday.
The state shut down The Haven – Friends for Life shelter on Jan. 27, charging its owners, Linden and Stephen Spears, with four counts of animal cruelty and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.
The Spears, who had been barred from their home by court order, are now able to return, said sheriff’s Capt. John Kivett.
“The investigation is still continuing, and possibly more charges will be brought in the very near future,” Kivett told the Fayetteville Observer.
The ASPCA has taken temporary custody of the animals — more than 300 dogs, 250 cats, as well as horses, birds and pigs — and they are being cared for at undisclosed locations across North Carolina.
Investigators also found the remains of 15 dogs buried on the property.
As of Monday, about half of the adult dogs and 182 cats were in isolation due to respiratory illnesses and other contagious conditions. Ten veterinarians have been treating the animals, some of which have open wounds and some of which appeared malnourished.
“Hopefully, they’ll continue to recover,” ASPCA spokeswoman Kelly Krause said. “We will be making sure they are staying healthy, treating them and making sure they have care.”
Once healthy the ASPCA hopes to make the dogs and cats available for adoption, but that can’t happen until a court determines the custody of the animals, she said.
The next court appearance for the Spears is scheduled for Feb. 10.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 3rd, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal shelter, aspca, birds, cats, court, cruelty, dogs, friends for life, hoke county, horses, investigation, linden spears, neglect, north carolina, pets, pigs, raeford, seized, shelter, stephen spears, the haven
Authorities in Hoke County, N.C., yesterday unearthed the remains of 15 dogs on the grounds of a “no-kill” animal shelter from which 600 animals were seized this week.
A day after Hoke County deputies and the ASPCA raided The Haven — Friends for Life shelter near Raeford, authorities on Thursday dug up the remains of 15 dogs that had been buried on the property.
Shelters owners Stephen and Linden Spears were released on bond after appearing in court on charges of neglect and possession of a controlled substance, but authorities says more charges against them are possible.
They’ve been banned from returning to the shelter.
Representatives of the ASPCA continued to remove some of the more than 600 neglected animals from the shelter yesterday, taking them to a warehouse near Raleigh where they could be checked by veterinarians and cared for.
ASPCA officials called the raid the largest companion-animal raid they’ve conducted nationwide in the last 20 years.
More than 300 dogs, 250 cats, 40 horses and numerous farm animals were living at the 122-acre shelter in Raeford, the ASPCA said in a press release.
“What we found today at this facility — self-described as ‘North Carolina’s most successful no-kill shelter’ — is unacceptable,” said Tim Rickey, senior vice president of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response.
“This is one of the largest animal seizures the ASPCA has ever conducted in our 150 years as an organization,” he added. “We have a team of nearly 140 responders on the ground to remove and care for these hundreds of neglected animals who have clearly not been receiving adequate care. Our goal is to help them become healthy and ultimately find them homes.”
The ASPCA’s assistance was requested by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, which began an investigation into the shelter after receiving complaints about sick animals and unsanitary conditions.
The Haven was operating without a license for about a decade, according to the ASPCA, and past inspections by the state Department of Agriculture had deemed the facility “inadequate.”
The population at the facility has fluctuated over the years, reaching more than 1,000 animals.
According to the shelter’s Facebook page, it was often seeking donations to improve the shelter, and had recently launched a GoFundMe drive to build roofs over the outdoor pens where dogs were kept.
The seized dogs, cats and other animals will be held at an undisclosed location, and the ASPCA will continue to care for them until custody is determined by the court,
“The condition of these animals is pressing and required immediate attention,” said Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin. “In addition to protecting Hoke County citizens, law enforcement has an obligation to ensure the safety and well being of Hoke County animals at all times. We cannot and will not allow this type of mistreatment to continue any longer. All persons involved will be held accountable.”
No deceased animals were found on the property Wednesday, but yesterday investigators found at least 15 dead dogs and “dozens” of animals buried on the property, according to WRAL in Raleigh.
(Photos of shelter courtesy of ASPCA; photos of Spears family courtesy of Hoke sheriff’s department)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 29th, 2016 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 600, animals, aspca, buried, cats, dead, department of agriculture, dog, dogs, friends for life, hoke county, linden spears, north carolina, pets, raeford, raid, remains, rescue, sanctuary, seized, shelter, sheriff, stephen spears, the haven, unlicensed
A dog born without her front legs has learned to get around by hopping on her rear ones like a kangaroo — and she’s becoming a bit of a tourist attraction in Peru.
Estrella was abandoned on the street as a puppy, but taken in when she was six months old by a couple that runs an animal shelter in the small town of Tinga Maria, according to Reuters.
While many have asked to adopt her, Ivan Escobar and his wife Elva Carhuaz, who operate the shelter, say they plan to keep her.
The dog’s presence has led to an increase in visitors to the shelter, and more donations to help care for her and other dogs.
Elva Carhuaz said Estrella helps increase awareness about stray dogs and about dogs with disabilities.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adapting, animals, disabilities, dog, dogs, estrella, hops, kangaroo, kangaroo dog, pets, shelter, tinga maria, two-legged, video
Two days before Thanksgiving, a woman brought this dog to the Collin County Animal Shelter in McKinney, Texas, saying she’d found her on the street.
The woman later walked out, but not before the young pup wrapped her front paws tightly around her leg, as if to say, “No, please don’t leave me here.”
The gesture was captured in a photo.
It hasn’t gone as viral as those hugging death row dogs, but give it time. It’s one of those photos that says so much more than mere words ever could.
Given the kill shelter is full, the fearful dog’s outlook wasn’t too good when she arrived.
But the League of Animal Protectors (LAP), an animal rescue organization, has promised to pull the dog — said to be a Great Pyrenees/Australian shepherd mix — before her time at the shelter before her time runs out.
(She doesn’t have a name yet, but we’d suggest Corporal Clinger.)
LAP posted the photo on its Facebook page with a note saying the “sweet terrified” dog needed a “Thanksgiving miracle.”
The organization is trying to find her a foster home, and a forever home, as well — assuming she doesn’t get adopted while still at the county shelter.
For more information, contact LAP at email@example.com, or Collin County Animal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. The shelter is closed today and over the weekend, but will reopen Monday.
(Photo: From LAP Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek November 27th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal shelter, animals, cling, clinging, clingy, collin county, dog, dogs, fearful, foster, league of animal protectors, Mckinney, pets, photo, photograph, rescue, shelter, texas
It wasn’t the first time someone has fallen in love online.
It wasn’t the first time someone dropped everything to travel across the country to meet and claim the object of his affection.
But it may be the first time that someone has been able to get members of the public to help finance such a trip.
That’s probably because the girl of Joel Carpenter’s dreams was a dog — a husky-shepherd-collie mix named Sadie that he spotted on Petfinder and was so smitten with that he bought a one-way ticket to Minneapolis to adopt her, knowing full well he didn’t have the money to get back home to Maine.
“For whatever reason, Sadie just struck me,” the 23-year-old told the Detroit Free Press. “I felt like I need to fly out to rescue her; at the core, there was just this intense feeling that I was doing the right thing.”
“You could say I’m winging it a little bit,” he added in an interview conducted while he and the dog were stuck in Michigan. “I was just kind of following my heart.”
Joel Carpenter flew from his home in Portland, Maine to Minneapolis on Sept. 22 and adopted Sadie from a local shelter.
While there, what little money he had — what with taxi fares, motels and adoption fees — ran out.
It could be Carpenter is just young and brash and a poor planner, but, more likely, he saw the whole thing as an adventure.
He knew he might have to rely on ride-sharing and couch-surfing on the trip home — and things started out well enough when he got a ride from Minnesota to Grand Rapids in a kindly gentleman’s RV.
There, he found a couple that invited Sadie and him to stay in their home. But when he ran into trouble finding another ride he decided to call a local news station to see if they could help “spread the word that I needed a ride back to Maine.”
Here we have to question whether Carpenter was so gullible as to think a news station would gladly broadcast his ride needs, or so savvy as to know he was sitting in the middle of a pretty good story.
After the news report, Carpenter’s phone started ringing.
“News papers and News stations all curious about my story. What was most encouraging was the positive support for me and Sadie. Many people became invested in our adventure, and wanted to help out any way they could. Many people have told me we should try Go Fund Me … So here we are!” Carpenter wrote on the Gofundme page he established.
Between it and a Facebook page started by his girlfriend, donations and offers of help poured in — food, toys, motel rooms and, finally enough money to buy an airplane ticket.
On Wednesday Joel and Sadie hitched a ride from Grand Rapids to Detroit, where another good Samaritan bought Carpenter and Sadie a hotel room for the night. On Thursday, he and Sadie flew home.
The saga of Carpenter and Sadie raises more than a few questions — including just how loose a screening process that shelter must have had to hand a dog over to someone who lived 1,500 miles away, with no money, and no clear way home. Was that irresponsible, or did they just fall for the romanticism of it all?
I kind of did, and I’m a cynical sort. But then again I uprooted my dog from his stable home to spend a year on the road, traveling across America in a car but on a shoestring, including doing a little couch-surfing and a little relying on the kindness of strangers.
Is the saga of Carpenter and Sadie proof that love conquers all? Is it the epitome of irresponsibility? An excellent adventure? Or is it just the kind of thing dog-crazy people do?
I ‘d love to hear your opinions on all this (and unlike most websites that ask you for that I really mean it) because — other than being happy they are safely back home — I’m not sure what exactly mine is.
(Photo of Joel and Sadie from WZZM)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 5th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoption, animal, animals, bond, couchsurfing, dog, dogs, facebook, gofundme, joel carpenter, love, maine, minnesota, news media, online, online love, petfinder, pets, relationships, ridesharing, sadie, shelter, shelters, social media, trip
Due to an apparent miscommunication between volunteers, Rollin, described as a one-year-old Aussie mixed-breed, died Friday of heat related causes.
Rollin was one of two humane society dogs that began barking at the adoption event and were taken from the store to the transport van.
A volunteer put the dogs in cages and left the van running with the air conditioning on, calling a transport volunteer to pick them up.
The transport volunteer arrived at the PetSmart and drove the vehicle back to the humane society, apparently under the belief she was transporting only one dog.
That dog had gotten out its kennel inside the van during the ride and rode in the front of the vehicle.
Once at the shelter, another volunteer removed that dog and the driver returned the vehicle to PetSmart, not realizing Rollin was still inside.
Rollin was found dead around 5 p.m. when volunteers began returning other dogs at the event to the van.
Society officials, much to their credit, made the incident public Monday.
Bruce Fishalow, executive director of the society, told the Ocala Star-Banner it was the first incident of its type in the organization’s history.
“As an organization that works so hard to preserve life, this is devastating to us,” he told the newspaper.
Fishalow said the society is adopting new transportation guidelines, called Rollin’s Rules, to prevent a similar tragedy.
The changes include creating a transport log sheet so that volunteer drivers know how many dogs are inside when they transport.
The transport vans have eight kennels, and the new rules will require volunteers to check each one whenever dogs are dropped off at a location.
Rollin was buried on the humane society’s property.
“We take our responsibility to our cats and dogs very seriously,” said Fishalow, who was attending an animal abuse meeting when the incident took place, “and are so very sad that this happened.”
(Photo: Humane Society of Marion County)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 16th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, animals, dead, dies, dog, dogs, florida, heat, humane society of marion county, left, miscommunication, pets, shelter, shelters, transport, van, vehicle, volunteers
Animal shelter breaks ins — one in Tennessee and another in California — have left four dogs dead and more than a dozen missing.
Three dogs were found dead Sunday – two in a bloodied Jurupa Valley animal shelter, and one on the side of the road – after an apparent break-in at the facility, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
And an East Tennessee animal shelter became the scene of a dogfight last week when a burglar broke in and placed a pit bull and a boxer, both up for adoption, in the same cage.
Shelter staff believe the two normally docile dogs were provoked into fighting by whoever broke in.
The boxer’s injuries were so severe that, after staff discovered him the next morning, he had to be put down.
Sharon Cravens, shelter president at Best Friends Sanctuary in Jamestown, said she believes someone hopped a fence, then unlocked the cage of a pit bull named Sam and placed him in a pen four cages away with a boxer named Bucky.
Volunteers left the shelter around 7 p.m. Thursday. When they returned Friday morning they find both dogs in the same kennel, covered in blood.
“It’s just sad to see that someone would be that evil and put two dogs to watch it for a show, you know, to put them through that,” Cravens told WBIR.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Jamestown Police Department at 931-879-5871.
Over the weekend, in Riverside County, California, shelter staff arrived to work Sunday morning to find a bloody scene.
“We found blood spatter everywhere,” animal control spokemsan John Welsh said. “There were some blood markings that were about 3 feet off the ground. We don’t know exactly what caused that, but we don’t suspect that an animal jumped into the air and caused that blood spatter.”
Two dogs were found dead of undetermined causes. They were described as a 5-year-old Chihuahua who had been recently brought to the shelter and a 6-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix that was brought in the previous night.
A necropsy was expected to determine the cause of their deaths.
About a mile from the shelter, the body of a third dog was located. It was described as an adult German shepherd, and Welsh said dog tags showed it had been from the Jurupa Valley shelter.
At least a dozen other dogs remained missing as of Sunday afternoon.
Several cut locks were placed in a pile inside the shelter, and investigators believe it had been broken into between Saturday night and Sunday morning, KTLA reported.
Some 22 kennels were “essentially busted open, probably with bolt cutters,” Welsh said.
Shelter employees were working with Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigators and reviewing surveillance footage.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 14th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, best friends sanctuary, bolt cutters, boxer, burglar, cage, california, dog, dogfight, dogs, dogs killed, jamestown, jurupa valley, kennel, killed, locks, pets, pit bull, riverside county, riverside county animal control, security, shelter, staged, tennessee