79 farm animals seized in Greene County
Posted January 7, 2010 2:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 7, 2010 6:28 p.m. EST
Walstonburg, N.C. — Greene County Animal Control and the Humane Society of the United States are working to find foster homes for more than 70 animals confiscated from unsafe living conditions.
The animals – 31 pigs, three horses, two goats, 33 chickens, six geese and four turkeys – were seized Tuesday after authorities received a complaint Saturday about the living conditions.
They tried to convince the animals' owner, James Ralph Webb, 57, of 1207 Craft Road in Walstanburg, to surrender the animals but were unable to do so.
Webb faces 79 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty but has not been arrested yet because law enforcement officials cannot make contact with him.
Rescuers found the animals living on a dilapidated, trash-strewn property, authorities said. Many had been living in mud up to their armpits and had no access to dry land, water or adequate shelter.
Broken glass and rusty wire also littered the area where the animals were living, officials said. These conditions left the animals susceptible to sickness and serious injury.
Several dead piglets and goats were found on the property when responders arrived, and others were in danger of freezing to death as temperatures dipped into the 20s, officials said.
The animals were taken to an emergency shelter at the Wilson County Fairgrounds, where they were treated and where they will remain until they can be placed in foster care