Owner: Seized Chatham animals were not mistreated
Posted July 16, 2015
Updated July 17, 2015
Pittsboro, N.C. — The owner of about 190 animals seized in Chatham County after a raid by animal protection groups on Wednesday said her animals were not badly treated.
“Did they look bad to you? No, they did not look bad to you,” Stephane Joostema told a WRAL reporter. “Cruelty is the most insane word to use for someone like me.”
Local and national animal protection groups started planning the raid after repeated attempts to help Joostema resolve a hoarding issue failed, said Leigh Anne Garrard, director of Chatham County Animal Services.
Some of the animals were in need of veterinary care, said Erica Geppi, state director for The Humane Society.
“I think the thing that will hit people the most was the sheer volume of animals," she said. “There was just a lot of unsanitary conditions and neglect of care with them."
Joostema said improvements were being made to the animals’ living conditions – efforts she said were hindered by Wednesday’s raid.
“I do not want to go in because they wrecked the whole place,” she said.
No charges were filed against Joostema as of Thursday evening.