More than 150 animals that were taken from a Chatham County home last month will be sent to rescue groups in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Authorities removed the animals from a single mobile home and the surrounding property on Silk Hope Gum Spring Road. Along with cats and dogs, a 400-pound hog, poultry, horses and cows also were seized.
Chatham County Animal Services will send the animals to rescue organizations for treatment and possible adoption, said director Leigh Anne Garrard.
Although some of the animals had medical issues, none of them have died and none had to be euthanized, Garrard said.
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Since the animals were seized, some of them have had babies, bringing the total number being sent to rescue groups to more than 200. Some of the animals are ready to be adopted, but others still require some treatment.
“We have worked diligently to make sure they are getting all the treatment they deserve and need,” Garrard said.
She said officials tried to keep the animals local, but the sheer number of animals forced them to look for organizations further away.
In North Carolina, the Chatham County Animal Shelter, Chatham Animal Rescue & Education, SAFE Haven for Cats, Wake County Animal Services, the SPCA of Wake County, Red Dog Farm, Horse Helpers of the High Country and Carolina Waterfowl will take animals.
SAFE Haven for Cats, a Raleigh-based no-kill shelter, is asking for the community’s help to care for the 34 cats and kittens it took in. Some of the kittens were as young as 24 hours old, according to the group.
“We wanted people to have access to those animals in this area and make sure they were sent places that were capable of giving them the treatment they need,” Garrard said.
Stephanie Joostema, who lived at the property, is expected to appear in court Aug. 12 on charges of allowing livestock to run at large.
Chatham County health department and animal control officers tried working with Joostema for more than two years to improve conditions for the animals, Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Stuart said last month.