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Dozens of dogs seized from Garner woman's home

Posted September 23, 2009
Updated September 24, 2009

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— Garner animal control officers on Wednesday seized 27 dogs from the home of a woman they say was trying to run a rescue from her back yard.

Police said Shelly Spicer was getting some of the animals from ads posted on Craigslist and was trying to adopt them out.

Dogs seized from Garner home Dogs seized from Garner home

Animal control seized a variety of puppies and adults, including Labrador retrievers, St. Bernards and mixed breeds, from Spicer's residence at 103 Bournemouth Lane.

One puppy was dead, but the other animals had food and water and appeared to be in fair condition, police said.

The animals were taken to Wake County's Animal Control and Adoption Center, where further inspection found some of the dogs have parvovirus, a contagious disease among canines.

Those infected will have to be euthanized, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the others would be put up for adoption, the shelter's director, Mike Williams, said.

Williams said there could be some legal issues. He believes Spicer might have been caring for some of the dogs for foster groups, who legally have ownership over them.

Authorities do not expect to file charges. Animal control seized the dogs when a neighbor reported several dogs loose Wednesday morning. Spicer had too many dogs under Garner's town ordinance.

Spicer declined to comment.

"She was trying to do the right thing and just got in over her head," Garner animal control officer Judi Lowery said.


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  • melhanpow Sep 24, 2009

    How can you seize an animal and not file charges!!! They found 1 dog dead an found several sick! NEGLECT!!!! CRUELTY!!! She might had good intentions, but do you think an officer cares to hear my excuses for speeding. I would still receive a citation. If you fail to provide health care for an injured or sick child what do you think would happen?
    People need to take responsibility and be held accountable for their actions.

  • v4mcrider Sep 24, 2009

    if I was babysitting for people who were could not afford to pay for daycare,,and it it was discovered that the kids were not taken care,had serious illnesses,and had way to many kids that I could take care of and kids were running in the yard unsupervised,,,would you consider me a hero? The hero is the person who called the authorities,the victims were the dogs. Would you feel sorry for me or sorry for the kids?Sorry folks,intentions don't cut it with me,doing things above your head is just plain wrong. Some of those dogs could of found good homes but were instead stuck with crazy lady in Garner.

  • SisterChristian Sep 24, 2009

    1. Do you volunteer at the Wake Co. Animal Shelter? 2. Are you trying to help these poor dogs find homes that are in danger of being euthanized or are you more worried about spending money to build on to your house or buy new shoes? 3. Are you worried about a dog not being a purebred (mixes are great)? 4. Are you worried about whether a dog sheds or is going to poo or pee in your home? 5. Are you concerned about getting pawprints on your floors? 6. Have you ever even owned a rescue dog? 7. Have you ever made a donation to help a rescue in dying need? Have you ever even visited an animal shelter and looked at the sad eyes in the kennels? A lot of the folks that complain on craigslist and on comment sections 'such as this' need to keep their hands off the keyboard and get off their BUMS and go do something to make a difference.

  • irescuejrts Sep 24, 2009

    While I think she meant well, I think she just got in over her head.

    Under current Animal Welfare Service policy, an entity holding 10 or more animals at any one site is required to obtain a certificate of registration as a private shelter. Once registered, shelters must comply with the standards set in the Animal Welfare Act and are subject to inspection by
    AWS for compliance with that Act.

  • freedomrings Sep 23, 2009

    As the foster home coordinator for a local 501c3 animal rescue group, I would have never placed an animal in her care.

    Her intentions may have been good, but she was in over head. Animal rescue must include a balance of your heart, head, and pocketbook. Impulsive emotional decisions almost always lead to problems.

    For people who think animals aren't euthanized like they used to be, they're wrong. As for animals taken to the shelter by their owners, the dog can be euthanized as soon as they walk out the door and often is. Preference is given to stray animals. The idea being that if you surrender an animal, something is wrong with it, however a stray could be a lost pet.

  • cocker_mom Sep 23, 2009

    terriers -
    Thanks for the update on the changed to Cary's pet ordinance. Good news.

    I had to pass on a house in Chapel Hill due to the limit. I could keep up to 20 chickens though.... strange.

    Sad to see that some of these dogs apparently had parvo (WRAL update). Potentially that could have been what happened to the pup. Almost impossible to get rid of parvovirus in a "yard" with that many animals - it's a very virulent virus. Even vet hospitals have to do a complete sterilization - and shelters can shut down if they have a parvo outbreak. Hope all the adults were vaccinated.

    Crossing fingers for the rest of the pups.

    Like others have said - please spay and neuter, and adopt your pets from shelters / rescues.

  • terriersrfun Sep 23, 2009

    Cary no longer has a 2 dog limit. Some homeowner associations do. Cary is using its nuisance laws to manage bad owners.

  • cocker_mom Sep 23, 2009

    Everyone needs to set their limits of dogs they can adequately care for. This goes for individuals AND rescue groups. It's easy to want to save them all, and it's easy to justify that the dogs are "better than dead", but the need quality companionship, time and care that I simply don't think you can provide to 30 dogs at a time unless you are doing it full time on a large piece of property. These dogs appeared quite healthy - losing a puppy is not uncommon. It's esay to let your heart rule your head when a dog dies if you don't take it

    You always have to check your ordinances. Raleigh DOES NOT have a pet limit. Raleigh states that there are plenty of other laws that cover the issues "associated" with many animals - nuisance, noise, health codes, etc. And who's to say 10 cats = 10 St. Bernards?

    Cary has a 2 dog limit. Wake County has no limits. Chapel Hill has a 4 pet limit (over the age of 3 months to allow for puppies / kittens) and Orange County does not have a limit.

  • kickchick2000 Sep 23, 2009

    If you want to help the best thing you can do is adopt a pet from the WCAS. Any pet that is adopted means more room for those comming in. There is a great dog named Princess who is there right now, Puglsy and Fargo are also great. By adopting these dogs it means there will be room for the new dogs that are comming in which means less dogs will be PTS.

  • maddie Sep 23, 2009

    Rev RB: Yes, and they will have an even greater chance of euthanization at Wake County!