Local News

70 animals seized from Raleigh home

Posted August 4, 2011 5:53 p.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2011 1:01 p.m. EDT

— Seventy animals were seized from a Raleigh home on Thursday afternoon.

Wake County Animal Shelter Foster and Rescue Coordinator Joanne Duda said the 67 dogs seized from 6608 Professor St. were kept in cages, sometimes two or three at a time, and appeared neglected.

Some dogs had medical problems, including tumors, cancer and open sores, and others were so obese they could not stand on their own. 

Duda said the dog owners appeared to be breeders.

Acting on a tip, Raleigh Police's Animal Control Unit responded to the home at 9 a.m. and returned in the afternoon to collect the animals. 

Police said 51 dogs were surrendered and 16 dogs and three cats were being held in protective custody. 

The dogs were small breeds, including Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas and Lhasa Apsos. 

The animals were transported to the Wake County Animal Shelter, where the dogs were checked by veterinarians. Rescue groups helped find some of the animals foster homes to live in. 

HEART pet rescue found foster families for three of the dogs. HEART President Heidi Miller said the dogs are expected to be available for adoption in about a week, barring any heath or behavioral issues. 

Sound Pet Animal Rescue found foster homes for three of the animals taken from the house.

Peyton Gaudiosi, of Sound Pet Animal Rescue, took one of the dogshome and named him Reagan. 

“It was obvious that they had lived in cages. They were definitely scared. They didn’t know what was going on. It didn’t look like they had a lot of human handling,” Gaudiosi said.

Gaudiosi said Reagan is adjusting well. 

"She loves to cuddle, and she’s the sweetest thing. She just had a bath earlier. She’s incredible," she said.

The Wake County Animal Center said 10 dogs had to be euthanized because their medical conditions were so severe. 

The cats and 22 dogs remain at the Wake County Animal Center, some under protective custody and others available for adoption. 

The investigation is ongoing. No charges have been filed.

Property records for the home show it belongs to Salvatore and Betty Jane Barone, Carolyn Burnham and Barbara Woodworth.

In 2009, 5 on Your Side did a story about Burnham, who was associated with websites that advertised as breeders. At the time, those companies got an "F" rating on by the Better Business Bureau.

The companies are no longer in business, according to the Better Business Bureau.