Local News

More than 100 animals seized from Rougemont home

Posted September 25, 2012

— More than 100 animals were seized Tuesday from what authorities described as “deplorable conditions” at a home in Rougemont.

The Person County Sheriff’s Office, Person County Animal Control, the Humane Society of the United States and five other animal advocacy groups assisted in the rescue effort at 1133 Berea Road. They said they found 39 horses and about 70 small-breed dogs, cats and birds housed in squalor.

The horses were very thin, and some required immediate medical attention, a Humane Society spokeswoman said. Many of the dogs and cats had eye and skin infections and other signs of neglect.

The owners surrendered all the animals, which were taken to area shelters for treatment. They will be evaluated for adoption, the spokeswoman said.
Authorities said they acted after receiving complaints from the community about the conditions at the house.

“The situation here deteriorated so badly that we knew it was time to act,” Ron Shaw, director of Person County Animal Control, said in a statement. “I’m incredibly grateful that we did, because the conditions for the small animals living inside were deplorable.”

Guilford County Animal Shelter, Safe Haven Equine Rescue & Retirement, Paws Ranch, Central Virginia Horse Rescue and Allen’s Place assisted with removing the animals from the property. It wasn’t immediately clear whether any charges were filed against the owner.

“The Humane Society of the United States is glad to help Person County Animal Control with this very sad case of neglect,” Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for the organization, said in a statement. “The conditions in this home are egregious and these animals desperately needed rescue. Now they are on the path to much better lives.”


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  • I_know_right Sep 26, 2012

    I live in Person County, and while it has been a couple of years since I have had to contact animal control for any reason, the last few times I have contacted them regarding animals they didn't do anything! It was very frustrating. I am glad the ASPCA stepped in for these animals! We really need an ASPCA in Person County!

  • I_know_right Sep 26, 2012

    Those poor animals. How can anyone be that heartless?

  • sthiggs Sep 26, 2012

    This kind of story makes me sick. Speaking first hand it is hard even living next to a small version of this kind of torture. Our animals deserve so much more. AKC should require proof on DNA'd animals before allowing AKC registration. This would help stop breeding in puppy mills.

  • lprop Sep 26, 2012

    Unless your are blind you should know the condition of that many animals and at least ask for help. Don't know the facts so want say anymore.

  • tillman70 Sep 26, 2012

    Person County is one of those old counties that DOES NOT have laws on the limitations of pets. Time to get one, because this proves it is way over due!

  • asn0307 Sep 26, 2012

    Goodness. Why would someone want that many animals?! One cat is enough for me!

    I hope these poor animals are placed with loving families that will take care of them!

  • Milkman Sep 26, 2012

    I have a friend who works for a vet and everyone knows who the hoarders are, and they feel sorry for them so they put them on payment plans and are actually to some extent complicit in the problem, they don't turn them in to the county for sure. If there were penalties for not reporting them you'd see less of it. The very smart hoarders take 3 animals to 1 vet, 3 more to another, etc. It spreads the bills and reduces the chances of detection. (If they are even giving the animals proper medical care.)

  • SpecialOffer Sep 26, 2012

    sabedo: unfortunately, even with counseling, hoarders have an extremely high relapse rate.

  • Desiderata Sep 26, 2012

    In a small way I feel sorrow for the people involved, but not NEARLY as much as for the horses, dogs, cats and birds! It is a PRIVLEDGE to be able to have Gods creatures in our care, not a right. Going out to feed mine( yep , their needs are taken care of first, as it should be!)

  • Scubagirl Sep 26, 2012

    "Scubagirl, do you think this was another BYB, or a hoarder? It sounds more like a hoarder. IDK for sure, but I believe even in the country there are limits on how many animals you can keep. One horse per half acre (?), and likely for smaller pets too. This may be a case of needing to enforce the laws rather than write new ones.storchheim"

    Not sure storchheim, I do know there are laws on the books in some cities/towns limiting the # of animals one can own, but I'm not sure about Rougemont since it's mostly country. IF this is just hoarding then yes, existing laws DO need to be reinforced. As to a vet, doubtful as well they could afford vet bills for that number-I know I couldn't and I have a good job. Just for my 4 it's a lot every year to keep them healthy and fed.