ASPCA Assists Hoke County Sheriff’s Office in Rescuing More Than 120 Animals in Raeford, N.C.

Responders to provide medical care and behavioral enrichment for neglected animals at ASPCA emergency shelter
July 22, 2016

Raeford, N.C.—At the request of the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, the ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is assisting with the investigation, removal and care of 92 dogs, 15 cats and more than a dozen farm animals and birds found at an unlicensed animal rescue in Raeford, N.C. Local law enforcement launched the investigation following a report from a veterinarian who discovered a horse on the property that was later euthanized due to malnutrition.

Upon securing a search warrant on Thursday, local authorities discovered the dogs, horses, cats, goats and birds in unacceptable conditions. Many animals were kept in filthy kennels with no access to food or water, and appeared to be suffering from untreated medical issues.

“This is the second animal cruelty case in Hoke County that we’ve assisted with this year,” said Kathryn Destreza, Director of Investigations for ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. “We’re pleased to offer assistance and resources to help local authorities address animal cruelty issues in their community. Our immediate goal is to provide medical care and behavioral enrichment for these neglected animals at our temporary shelter.”

“These animals required our immediate attention,” said Captain John Kivett with the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office. “We are committed to the safety of both the citizens and animals of Hoke County. We cannot and will not allow the intentional mistreatment of any living being within our jurisdiction. This investigation is ongoing and we ask that anyone with pertinent information contact the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office.”

The owner of the property, Maureen Lee, was arrested on one count of felony animal cruelty with additional charges pending once evidence is collected and submitted to local authorities by the ASPCA Forensic Sciences team.

The ASPCA Field Investigations and Response team provided medical attention to animals on the property in critical condition and transported nearly 60 dogs to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location, where they will receive medical exams and behavioral assessments. The remaining animals have been placed with a local partner who is providing medical care and sheltering.

The ASPCA will continue to care for the animals at the temporary shelter until custody is determined by the court and will provide ongoing legal support until resolution of the criminal case.