RALEIGH — Ten of the 67 dogs seized in Raleigh this week by animal control officers had to be euthanized because they were in such dire condition from neglect, but at least some of the others already have a happy ending.
Publicity from the North Raleigh animal neglect case drew a throng of animal lovers to the Wake County Animal Center on Friday. Several of the dogs were quickly adopted.
"This is one of the busiest Fridays we've ever had," said Angeline McInerny, interim director of the center. "The lobby was full at noon, so this was pretty exciting for us."
One of the first to arrive Friday morning was Jimmie Kennemur of Clayton. One of her 18-year-old triplets, Madison, had spotted an ad posted on Craigslist Thursday night by someone who wanted to draw attention to the plight of the dogs. She clicked on the shelter website and quickly found herself looking at a picture of shelter resident number 58469, a little black-and-white Shih Tzu.
The triplets had a lunch planned with friends Friday, so Jimmie Kennemur arrived first. The dog was timid, but when she held it, it stopped shaking. Then she discovered that it had just one eye.
Some might have walked away, but for the Kennemurs, that cemented their adoption plans.
"My daughter Skyler said, 'Mom, we've got to keep him because no one else would take him,'" she said.
The officers went to the home at 6608 Professor St., off Louisburg Road north of Interstate 540, Thursday morning to investigate a report of animals being treated inhumanely.
Meow in the mix
Along with the 67 dogs - mainly small breeds - officers removed three cats. The owner surrendered 51 dogs and puppies voluntarily, but the other dogs and all the cats were being held in protective custody and weren't available for adoption because they were taken involuntarily, said county officials.
The 51 dogs and puppies were being kept in the basement in conditions that were improper by any standard, said Jim Sughrue, a spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department. The others appeared to be healthy and well cared-for.
Late Friday Raleigh police charged Carolyn Sue Burnham, 46, and Barbara Von Woodworth, 57, both of the Professor Street address, with 10 counts of animal cruelty.
Some of the dogs were being held temporarily by foster families and rescue groups. Some will be available for adoption soon, and others will need to be nursed back to health.
Visitors attracted to the shelter by the case's publicity also were checking out some of the other 130-plus dogs and 175 cats available,McInerny said.
Focus on the problem
It wasn't the first case that resulted in dozens of animals being brought to the center, or even the largest, said Andre Pierce, environmental health director for Wake.
All such incidents are unfortunate, he said, but at least they bring much-needed attention to the animals at the shelter.
"I think we have to take any of these opportunities to turn it around in a positive way to draw attention to the need for vet treatment and sheltering," he said.
As he spoke, the Kennemur triplets were shopping for a dog bed, dog toys, a dog crate and name tags. The shelter won't release the dog to them until Tuesday, after he's been neutered, but they wanted to be ready.
They're planning to take him to Greenville in a few days when then enroll at East Carolina University. Given ECU's pirate mascot and the Shih Tzu's missing eye, the name they settled on was perhaps inevitable, said Jimmie Kennemur.
"They named him Blackbeard," she said.
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