Djurplågeri

Tänkte dela med mig lite ledsamma saker såhär på fredags eftermiddagen, jag fattar inte hur människor kan göra såhär emot djur? Bara för pengarnas skull! Så alla ni som planerar att köpa en hundvalp, köp den från Sverige så understöder ni inte valpfabriker! jag hoppas och tror att ingen hund i Sverige skall behöva lida så här.

By Melanie Davis and Caroline Monday
Melanie@mountaintimes.com
CMonday@mountaintimes.com

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Seventy-seven dogs and three dead puppies were seized during a search warrant executed at a home located at 10430 N.C. 194 north near Todd Thursday evening.

The search warrant was the result of a joint investigation between the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Watauga County Animal Care and Control department.

According to officers with Animal Care and Control, the investigation began with a stray dog picked up in that area of the county. The dog was in poor condition leading to an investigation.

Animal Care and Control officer Steve Norris holds one of the seized dogs that appears to be suffering from mange. Photo by Caroline Monday

On March 13 Animal Control officers visited the residence on N.C. 194 with a sheriff’s deputy and seized three dogs and one dead dog.

Anna Mae Warner, 18, was charged at that time with three counts of cruelty to animals, with another charge filed at a later date. She is scheduled to appear in district court on April 22 in lieu of a $2,500 unsecured bond to face those charges.

The investigation into Warner’s treatment of the numerous animals at her home continued after that arrest warrant was served.

Warner is alleged to have been breeding “toy” dogs for sale. Of the animals seized, there were miniature schnauzer, Papillon, Maltese, Jack Russell, toy poodles, Yorkshire terriers, shih tzu, chihauhua, pug, Pomeranian, spitz, Pekingese, Boston terrier and cocker spaniel breeds.

A statement from the sheriff’s office said the cause of the seizure was the lack of medical treatment for the dogs and the animals not being fed and watered properly.

Local veterinarians are seeing the animals beginning on Friday, treating them for malnutrition, dehydration and mange.

Seventy-seven animals were seized at one time.

Photo by Caroline Monday

The investigation by the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing and further charges against Warner are pending.

The bulk of the animals are being housed at the Animal Care and Control office, while the Watauga County Humane Society is assisting the officers with the care of the animals.

The younger puppies, pregnant dogs and some others are in the Humane Society’s shelter. That location is better equipped to handle those special needs animals, according to officials.

The dogs that have been seized are considered evidence in a criminal case. Therefore, the animals are not available for adoption or foster care. They must remain in the custody of Animal Control and the Humane Society until the disposal of the case through the court system. The Animal Control officers may only feed, clean and provide medical care to the animals until a decision is reached in court.

The public can help by fostering the other dogs in the care of Animal Control. The facility is near full capacity due to the seizure.

Other strays and unwanted animals need foster homes until a permanent location can be found.

The animals will be kept at the county facilities and at the Humane Society shelter until the court decides the case. Photo by Caroline Monday

Warner’s operation falls under the classification of a puppy mill. The legal definition of this term is anyone who owns more than five breeding age, unspayed female dogs and is not licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a dog breeder.

Humane Society shelter manager Lynn Northup said, ”The problem with puppy mills is that they do not care about the quality of the animals. There is more concern for the money than for their care and well being.”

Northup also gave warning signs for those interested in purchasing a pure breed dog. ”If you’re going to buy a pet instead of getting one from a shelter or a breed rescue, ask to see the parents, ask to see where they were living.”

She said red flags to look for include advertisements for five to six different breeds from the same person, or the breeder asking to meet in a parking lot or place other than the kennel.

Photo by Caroline Monday

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