Local News

Dogs rescued from Moore County home; eyesore remains

Posted February 16, 2010 7:07 p.m. EST

— After years of complaints from neighbors, more than 20 dogs have been rescued from a home in Moore County, but officials said conditions at the home remain deplorable for the residents.

The home, off Lucas Road, has been condemned, and junked cars lie about the yard. Mangy dogs are chained outside, and a dilapidated RV is covered with a tarp.

Paul Owenby lives in the home with his ailing sister. He called a Moore County deputy Tuesday when a WRAL News crew tried to go onto his property to talk to him.

Neighbors Stan Boley said he and other nearby residents have complained to Moore County officials about Owenby for three years.

"I called the health department and complained about the way the yard looks and the way it stinks sometimes," Boley said.

The barking of about 30 dogs at the home has been the biggest nuisance, he said.

"We can't even sit on our patio, especially in the summertime, because of the noise and everything else," he said.

The property is located across from the gated Seven Lakes West community, and Boley said the green of the No. 12 hole is less than 150 yards from the home.

Moore County Manager Cary McSwain said that Owenby has had ample time to clean the property. The county attorney is looking at other ways to remove the junk and bring it into compliance with zoning rules, McSwain said.

Neighbors also voiced concerns that Owenby's dogs are going hungry and getting sick.

Owenby ended up with the dogs because they belonged to several family members who used to live on the property, animal control officer Bryant Voss said.

"To me, the worst part of the situation is the family. They're down," Voss said.

He said he has been working with Owenby, telling him to improve living conditions and sometimes fining him. Owenby has always complied, Voss said, but he's just overwhelmed.

"He's hit the point, it's like, 'I can't do it anymore. I need help,'" Voss said.

Animal Control and the Humane Society have removed most of the dogs, and the animals are undergoing medical evaluations in hopes that they can be available for adoption.

"They're in real decent shape. Some of the things they've been fed have not been the best for them in the world," Voss said.