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Dogs seized, cruelty charges filed


     Cases of animal cruelty near Tabor City and Whiteville resulted in the seizure of eight dogs and multiple charges of cruelty to animals and failure to vaccinate for rabies, Columbus County Animal Control Director Joey Prince said.
     Andrew and Ashley Wilson of Herbert Norris Road east of Tabor City were issued 11 criminal summonses for cruelty to animals, and eight warrants for failing to vaccinate for rabies, Prince said in a news release. Animals there were found “with only fetid water, and some of the kennels did not appear to have been cleaned in weeks,” Prince said. “Neighbors had called and filed complaints about two of the dogs, which lead to the discovery of the other allegedly mistreated animals.”
     Charles Ellis of Old Lumberton Road, north of Whiteville, was issued 16 criminal summonses for cruelty to animals, eight warrants for failing to vaccinate for rabies, Prince said. Animals there “were grossly underweight and appeared to have been without food for at least a week,” Prince said. “They had an average rating a 2 on the Body Condition Score were 5 is optimal.”
     Animal Control officers seized a total of eight dogs from the two locations. Court dates were set for May 16.
All charges are a class one misdemeanor, and each Class 1 misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of 120 days in jail and a discretionary fine.
     “The intake of this many animals over those we normally process in, as well as the impending additional animal intakes from these investigations expected this week, has strained the space and resources of an already full shelter,” Prince said. “I have, as of yet, not determined how we are going to handle this many animals.
     Those who wish to help are asked to make donations of food and materials to the Columbus County Animal Shelter at 288 Legion Drive in Whiteville.
     Look for updates in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.

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