Local News

Animal Rights Group Sues Owner of Seized Dogs

Posted October 31, 2007

— An animal rights group on Wednesday filed suit against a Wake County woman from whose home authorities seized more than 100 dogs.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is seeking a court order that would prevent Janie Conyers, 77, from regaining ownership of the dogs and would bar her from owning other animals for 10 years.

Wake County Animal Control officers seized 112 dogs, primarily toy poodles, and eight birds from Conyers' home at 8252 Holly Springs Road on Oct. 19. A woman looking to breed her poodle had reported filthy and crowded conditions to authorities.

An animal cruelty investigator found animal waste accumulated on the surfaces of the animal housing and that the residence was "heavily infested with cockroaches" and rodent feces, as well as strong smells of ammonia and an infestation of bugs, according to a search warrant.

The lawsuit also alleges that several dogs had burns on their skin from continual contact with urine and feces, had developed eye disease and body infections and were missing teeth from lack of dental care. Many dogs were malnourished, according to the suit.

Authorities have not filed any charges against Conyers.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund argued in filing the suit, however, that she shouldn't regain custody of the dogs and birds because her "callous and indifferent lack of consideration of the health and welfare of the animals in her ownership and possession" continues to pose a threat to the animals.

"Based on the advanced stage of disease in these animals, (Conyers) has also demonstrated an inability to care for any animals. The evidence of this long and broad history of abuse proves (she) should no longer be entitled to be in the possession of dogs," the suit states.

Wake County and animal cruelty investigator Dr. Kelli Ferris, a veterinarian with North Carolina State University, joined in the suit, seeking to recover the cost of caring for the animals seized from Conyers' home. A news release issued Wednesday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund estimated immediate veterinary expenses topping $70,000.


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  • jkuwalik2 Nov 1, 2007

    beas, strange, I don't remember PETA ever being involved in saving a child

  • beas Nov 1, 2007

    Who said anything about animal rights groups turning their backs on a child? If someone who works for an animal rights group sees a child in these kind of conditions they would call an agency who takes care of children in these conditions. No, they would not turn their backs. There are agencies that take care of people and there are agencies that care of animals. No one can do it all. People who care about the welfare of animals also care about the welfare of all beings--whether they are animal or human. I'm just sorry that the same thing can't be said for some of the people who care only for people and no other living being.

  • ghwhitaker1_old Nov 1, 2007

    HEYGwenCOG: Who appointed you to decide whether someone has any business owning animals?

  • jkuwalik2 Nov 1, 2007

    These animal rights groups are concerned about how animals are treated but will turn their backs on a child living in thesame conditions. Strange how some people protect an animal before a child. I don't believe that animals should be mis-treated, but worry about the human animal first. There are alot of kids in this country that live in worse conditions rthan those dogs were living in and these groups have done nothing for them

  • HEYGwenCOG Nov 1, 2007

    Reading these comments helps me understand why the world is in the shape it's in. When we become so callous that we don't care about the suffering of ALL, animals and humans, then we ought to be ashamed. Are you people not aware that animals suffer pain and discomfort just like people do. I certainly think that taking care of humans is the number one priority, but if anyone posting on this board could pass by animals being abused or neglected to the point that these animals are and not feel a need to DO SOMETHING, then I worry about you. God created these animals and He has entrusted their care to man. Where is your spirit of kindness and empathy. Shame on you, and you know who you are.

  • HEYGwenCOG Nov 1, 2007

    She is 77 years old.....this is a bit extreme.

    I agree and what is extreme about it is that a 77 year old lady has no business having more dogs than she can humanely care for. That's EXTREMELY wrong.

  • animalover Nov 1, 2007

    For those of you that say these people care more about animals than they do people, perhaps they do. That's their right to do so.Keep in mind that for every one animal rights group there are 10 other groups that do work for humans. There aren't enough animal groups out there or there wouldn't be dogs chained up to a tree by people who think the animal is best suited as a tree ornament.Or there wouldn't be a calf starving to death, literally, for their tender meat.Or there wouldn't a truck full of cats killed for their fur because of some vain socialite.It's about taking care of those who can't not those who won't.Animals can't defend themselves against human ignorance.It shouldn't be about comparing the rights of humans to the rights of animals. It's about being decent humans to animals. Yes, I am an animal lover and yes I prefer animals to some humans, especially some of you on this blog. And if I could, I would live in a world without suffering for both humans and animals.

  • lbdancer3 Oct 31, 2007

    Many people get sued every day for many things that are sometimes true and sometimes not. I really don't think that people should judge others.

  • beas Oct 31, 2007

    zprot--I would really like an answer from you. If I provide my dog and cats with food and water am I going to the extreme? Am I spending money needlessly?

  • ghwhitaker1_old Oct 31, 2007

    "A news release issued Wednesday by the Animal Legal Defense Fund estimated immediate veterinary expenses topping $70,000."
    The news release doesn't say the ALDF has paid $70,000 in expenses, or that the vets contributing the services expect to be paid for their volunteer efforts thus far. This is so typical of the ALDF p.r. department, i.e., distorting facts and figures in an effort to persuade people who can't think beyond the end of their noses to part with their cash.