Owner of hundreds of dogs charged with animal cruelty
Posted September 3, 2009 10:03 a.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2009 11:34 a.m. EDT
Lucama, N.C. — Authorities charged a Lucama woman with 13 felony counts of animal cruelty Thursday after finding hundreds of dogs last week at her residence living in what they described as deplorable conditions.
Ranna Michelle Scott, 38, bred dogs and ran a puppy mill at her 5559 Lloyd Road home, said Major John Farmer, with the Wilson County Sheriff's office.
Scott surrendered at the sheriff's Office Thursday morning. She signed papers agreeing to surrender all 237 dogs that had been at her residence.
She was released after posting a $20,000 secured bond. Her husband is also expected to be charged.
After an investigation began in late August, Scott dispersed the animals across the state in an attempt to hide them, according to Major Mickey Wilson, head of the sheriff’s office's animal enforcement division.
Crews set up a staging area staffed by veterinarians at the Wilson County Fairgrounds to treat the dogs as they came in by the dozens. Some were in good health, while others needed immediate medical attention, Wilson said. At least five died.
Anyone who knows where more animals are or has any information about Scott's breeding operations should call the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Division at 252-265-5971.
In April, Wilson county commissioners adopted new regulations aimed at shutting down puppy mills with poor conditions. The rules require kennels to be inspected and be recommended by veterinarians annually and pay registration fees of $45 to $100 each year.