Local News

28 animals seized from Moore County farm

Posted May 13, 2008 1:28 p.m. EDT
Updated May 13, 2008 5:25 p.m. EDT

— Animal control officers seized nearly 30 animals deemed to be in poor health from a Moore County farm Tuesday, calling the case one of the worst they have seen.

Nineteen horses, seven cattle and two llamas were taken from the 71-acre Hilltop Stables at 2957 Cypress Church Road. The farm, owned by Billy Campbell, 50, of the same address, sits on the Moore-Harnett county line.

Veterinarians say many of the animals have worms, protruding ribs and rotting hooves and teeth and are lacking basic nutritional and veterinary care. They were taken to a farm in Vass to receive medical care.

“This is on a little bit larger scale than most of what we see,” said Dr. Jim Watson, a veterinarian and animal cruelty investigator for Moore County.

Authorities had also expected to find pigs and buffalo at the farm but said Campbell had apparently removed them from the property before they arrived.

He was arrested last week and charged with one count of animal cruelty. More charges are expected.

Al Carter, director of animal operations in Moore County, said in a written statement that his department has worked with Campbell for the past three years and that seizing the animals was "the last thing we wanted to do."

"In each instance, our short-term gains (were) eroded as soon as we leave," Carter said. “Mr. Campbell’s neglect, with regard to feeding and veterinary care, clearly amounts to animal cruelty."