Local News

Suburban Shepherd: Caring for Lambs Led to Neglect

Posted March 30, 2007

— An Apex man facing animal cruelty charges after dozens of neglected sheep were seized from his residence said Friday that he was too busy caring for newborn lambs in recent weeks to look after his other sheep.

David Watts is charged with 30 counts of animal cruelty. Wake County animal control officers seized 77 sheep from his Apex home on Monday and had to euthanize 30 of the animals because they were severely ill.

Animal control officers in Chatham and Lee counties said they are working with Watts to ensure more than 120 sheep he owns on two farms in those counties receive the proper care. Veterinarians who have inspected the two flocks said some of the sheep have infected feet, but the problem doesn't rise to the level of cruelty.

Watts said he raises a small number of sheep for petting zoos and otherwise uses the animals to graze on his land. He described the animals as gentle, saying they give him peace, and said the neglect issue arose because he was spending all of his time trying to care for newborn lambs.

His ewes had problems giving birth this spring, which he said might be related to their feed. His time was consumed with helping the sheep give birth and making sure the lambs survived, which didn't leave him any time to care for his other sheep, he said.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • kstor33 Mar 31, 2007

    Vergirl111...thank you for the website. Here's another one for those of you who would like to help animals but can't neccessarily take in a sheep.

  • kstor33 Mar 31, 2007


  • huntleyperez Mar 31, 2007

    No I am not but the only way I can guarantee my kids know what type of person I expect them to be is to lead by example.there really enough people in this world who are dying and are going to die alone because we who can dont..........Care........

  • GIGATT Mar 31, 2007

    huntleyperez...you sound like a good person. God bless you!

  • huntleyperez Mar 31, 2007

    all that I can by donating food to the tri-county animal shelters and watch over neighbors who sometimes need aittle help, here and there and notice if someone doesnt look well but never complains or send a kid to pic up their yard because they cant or whatever i can because after I leave the earth it really wont matter........and yeah, had I lived anywhere near the man I would have offered to help.....although the animals probably smell alot like my 3 kids right now.......but I was raised on a farm and yes it is hard and I did crop and top tobacco for clothes..SBM......As hard as it may be to believe.there was a time......people did care.................WAS

  • GIGATT Mar 31, 2007

    so huntleyperez...what did you do to help?

  • cntry girl85 Mar 31, 2007

    I agree with vera. If people saw the habits of a majority of farmers and how they treat their animals, they would be sickened and outraged. It is a shame that a lot of people have no knowledge of farming to compare this man to. This man prob would have reached out for help soon and most definitely learned his lesson. He must have recently lost some workers. Believe it or not, not a whole lot of people are jumping at a chance to care for a huge flock of sheep. Or atleast not until the media turns it into a huge case of animal abuse.

  • huntleyperez Mar 31, 2007

    well arogant...let me ask you???????did he live on an island???????was there no one in this brain dead self centered county of self rightous do-gooders, church attending souls who have in the last week wondered about someones elses needs????? Or did you miss that part of the message....I realize Easter has become an egg thing alot but all I was doing was saying did anyone notice he might have needed help??? Oh, but NO.....that is ridiculous isnt it??? He may have been over whelmed, he may have gotten up that morning and decided to let them all rot.....should I wonder I am sure all the facts were researched to ensure the truth and not intrigue the reader.............

  • BR549-ssdd Mar 31, 2007

    Aw--- Bless his little heart. also his little brain.

  • Joy4u2 Mar 31, 2007

    for people who love animals and want to help go towww.care2connect.com it cost nothing it a worth cause its for wildlife and all kinds of animals. You can sign pitoins spelled wrong sorry. people in china beat cats and dogs to death and skin them and ship there fur here to put on coats. Please go there people and help. God Bless you.