NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County Sheriff's Office Animal Services Unit seized several abandoned dogs from a home in New Hanover County; however, the animals were put down because they were in such bad shape psychologically.
We've learned the woman who is suspected of abandoning the pets, Angela Lowe, has not been cited or charged with a crime.
Stewart Montgomery recently bought the home on McQuillan Drive where the dogs were kept. He purchased the home through foreclosure.
Two weeks ago, when he started to fix up the house, he found that the previous tenant left several animals neglected, in very poor condition.
He found five dogs pinned up in a cage and found several feral cats in the back yard. Officers from Animal Control seized the dogs from the property.
One died that night, and the others were put down because they weren't sociable enough to get along with other people or pets, according to the sheriff's office.
Montgomery is now left with cleaning up the mess left behind from the previous homeowner, including the remains of a dead dog under his house.
"It's a shame, it's terrible," Montgomery said. "The fact that some people are even allowed to have that many animals, in that poor of condition is astonishing."
Traps have been set in place by Animal Services to capture the feral cats. Sgt. Jerry Brewer with the Sheriff's Office said they have done everything within the law to deal with the situation. As a result Montgomery said stricter regulations are needed to protect pets.
"I'm not mad at animal control, they did a good job coming out and were very helpful," Montgomery said. "But you just wonder how someone is allowed to keep animals under these conditions. I guess the laws are pretty liberal in favor of the homeowner."
Brewer also said they could have cited the pet owner for neglect but it was up to the officer's discretion and he chose not to do so. The law states that people can own as many pets as they want, as long as they're kept in good health.
There are efforts underway from animal rights advocates to change state laws to better protect pets.
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