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ASPCA cancels final day of adoption event; all animals expected to be adopted

Hundreds of people flocked to a Lee County pet adoption event Friday, taking home more than 350 animals seized in January from an unlicensed shelter in Hoke County.

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SANFORD, N.C. — The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Saturday canceled the final day of its three-day adoption event, saying all the animals are expected to be adopted after the second day, according to the group's Facebook.

In January, the ASPCA aided Hoke County authorities in seizing 600-plus dogs, cats, birds and horses from The Haven – Friends for Life shelter seven weeks ago.

After providing veterinary care and nursing the animals back to health at a temporary facility set up in Sanford, the ASPCA is hosting a three-day event to pair animals with humans.

The line of potential adopters wrapped around the building Friday morning, and officials repeatedly rang a bell as adoptions were completed.

Lena Anderson said she was looking for a companion since she is by herself a lot, so she adopted a dog Friday morning.

"When I walked by her, she just caught my eye, and she just followed me. So, she was mine," Anderson said. "She picked me."

Lynn and Carl Draus took a picture of their television screen when they saw one dog during a WRAL News report on the adoption event. The couple then shuffled through the maze of cages on Friday looking for her.

"I feel in love with her just from the picture," Lynn Draus said. "I didn't know she was a puppy, but I just had a feeling that was the one I was going to get. So, we came here, and we were asking everybody where she's at, and we found her."

Adoption fees are waived during the event, and each animal has been micro-chipped and spayed or neutered.

By Friday afternoon, all small dogs had been adopted, but officials said plenty of cats, large dogs and animals with special needs remained up for adoption.

The event continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at 2215 Nash St. in Sanford. People who want to adopt a pet should bring identification, proof of address and an appropriate-size carrier for the animal they adopt.

Any animals that don't find a home in North Carolina will be given to rescue groups around the county to have homes found for them in other states.

ASPCA officials have called the seizures from The Haven the largest companion-animal raid they've conducted nationwide in the last 20 years.

Authorities charged husband and wife Stephen and Linden Spear with four counts of animal cruelty and three counts of possession of a controlled substance, stemming from an animal medication not authorized on the property.

The couple also was served a misdemeanor criminal summons alleging a violation of a solid-waste disposal ordinance. Authorities say animal feces were found in plastic bags throughout the property. During the four-day seizure, dozens of animals also were found buried in makeshift graves.

The Haven failed state inspections for more than a decade but was never shut down.


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