More than 50 dogs found at Hertford Co. home, owner charged with animal cruelty

Posted at 2:44 PM, Mar 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-25 09:55:29-04

Murfreesboro, N.C. – More than 50 dogs and puppies were taken from a home on Pine Tops Road Monday in what the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office called a case of animal hoarding.

According to Lt. Jessie Fennel, the owner, Terry Shinaberry, signed an agreement to give the up dogs, many of which are Australian Shepherds, after being charged with one count of animal cruelty last week.

That charge was in connection to an incident a few weeks ago.  According to Lt. Fennel, someone bought a dog from Shinaberry and when he took the dog to a vet, the vet said the dog hadn’t been taken care of and suffered from malnutrition.

The Sheriff’s Office was at the property Monday with several rescue groups to take the dogs: the Humane Society, the Virginia Beach SPCA, Norfolk SPCA and Guilford County Animal Shelter.

Kim Alboum, State Director for the North Carolina Humane Society, said some were in need of medical attention.  “We’re seeing some dogs that are emaciated, some dogs that have eye infections, ruptured eye, missing limbs,” said Alboum, “I’m sad for the animals that we’re seeing being removed from the property and I’m glad that we’re here.”

Shinaberry told NewsChannel 3 that some of the dogs he was breeding, others he had rescued and that he did the best could.

The rescue groups and the Sheriff’s Office got to the home around 9:30 a.m., but it was a slow process getting the dogs.  Shinaberry would not allow anyone onto his property, so the dogs were passed over his fence one by one.

Around 1:30 p.m., deputies obtained a search warrant and were able to go onto the property and into the house to bring out more dogs, including some puppies.

Neighbors tell NewsChannel 3, with so many dogs on the property and in the home, the smell was unbearable.

“You can’t have a cookout,” Melvin Parker said, “I smell it all the time.  It just gets worse and worse , especially when it’s hot.”

The dogs are being taken to the Virginia Beach and Norfolk SPCAs and Guilford Co. Animal Shelter where they will receive medical treatment.

Alboum says they’ll eventually be available for adoption, but some will need to have behavioral assessments first because some seem to have not been handled before.