Update: Number of Animals Rescued in NC Raid Climbs to Nearly 700

February 12, 2016

UPDATE 2/12: These 700 victims are now safe and secure at the ASPCA’s temporary shelter in North Carolina. They are all undergoing medical and behavioral evaluations and receiving much-needed attention, but caring for this many animals is no easy task. That’s why we are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from animal-lovers around the country whose generous donations have made a significant impact on these victims’ lives. We would also like to thank GreaterGood for raising more than $22,000 and for working closely with MARS and Rescue Bank to provide a donation of 21,500 lbs. of dog and cat food. This kind of support is what makes massive rescue operations like this possible.


UPDATE 2/2: Over the past few days, the number of rescued animals has climbed to nearly 700, making this the largest companion animal rescue in the entire 150-year history of the ASPCA. All of the animals have been transferred to an offsite, temporary shelter in an undisclosed location. Our responders will likely remain there for several months and are working around the clock to provide these victims with the care and support that were withheld from them for far too long.

UPDATE 1/29: ASPCA responders are still on the ground providing assistance in Raeford, North Carolina, at the site of an unlicensed, 122-acre facility known as The Haven, where we have rescued 600 animals. View heartbreaking new footage below of this ongoing rescue operation.

This post was originally published on January 27, 2016.

ASPCA responders are on the ground in Raeford, North Carolina, today assisting authorities in the removal of nearly 600 animals from a sprawling, unlicensed facility known as The Haven. More than 270 dogs, 250 cats, 40 horses and numerous pigs were discovered in filthy kennels, cages, outdoor pens and paddocks on the 122-acre property. Many animals had no protection from the elements and are suffering from serious, untreated medical issues including open wounds, severe upper respiratory disease and emaciation.

The ASPCA responded at the request of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, who began investigating The Haven after receiving numerous complaints of sick animals adopted from the facility. The Haven’s owners were arrested on charges of animal cruelty, and the ASPCA is assisting with evidence collection, animal removal, transport, sheltering and medical care.

“What we found today at this facility—self-described as ‘North Carolina’s most successful no-kill shelter’—is unacceptable,” said Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Field Investigations and Response. “This is one of the largest animal seizures the ASPCA has ever conducted in our 150 years as an organization. We have a team of more than 130 responders on the ground to remove and care for these hundreds of neglected animals who have clearly not been receiving adequate care. Our goal is to help them become healthy and ultimately find them homes.”

Our responders are on the scene providing much-needed medical attention to animals in critical condition, and will transport the animals to a temporary shelter to continue to care for them until custody is determined by the court. Our Forensic Sciences team is collecting evidence to support the criminal case, and the ASPCA will provide ongoing legal support.

Sadly, we know there are countless animals suffering from neglect in communities across the country, and we need your support to continue conducting large-scale animal rescue operations like this one. We won’t stop until every animal is safe. Please consider making a donation to the ASPCA today to help us assist animals in desperate situations nationwide.