More than 150 animals were removed from a Chatham County property Wednesday, most of them from a single mobile home.
The mobile home sits on four acres behind the treeline at 3180 Silk Hope Gum Spring Road. A blue pole barn seen from the roadside is surrounded by wire-fenced pastures.
A 400-pound hog, poultry, horses and cows were seized, along with the cats and dogs from inside the home.
Chatham County health department and animal control officers tried working with the animals’ owner for over two years to improve conditions, Sheriff’s Capt. Doug Stuart said.
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He called Wednesday’s operation an “intervention.”
“This has been in the making for a very long period of time,” he said.
No criminal charges were filed Wednesday, and the name of the owner, a woman, was not released. The property is owned by a Flushing, New York, man, according to county land records.
Rescue workers met off-site about 7 a.m. before heading to the property and were still processing animals Wednesday evening.
Erica Geppi, North Carolina state director of the Humane Society of the United States, said some animals were going to local rescue groups; others, to a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location. They were being evaluated by on-site veterinarians and relocated according to medical need.
Chatham County Animal Services began working with the owner after being told that 100 animals were being kept inside the mobile home and that the livestock outdoors seemed to be receiving poor care. They inspected the property at the time and found animals with untreated medical conditions in unsafe, unsanitary housing.
“I am relieved that we were able to come to the aid of these animals today,” Leigh Anne Garrard, director of Chatham County Animal Services, said in a release. “We have tried to work with the owner to ensure the proper care of the animals, but we reached the point that the animals had to be removed for their well-being.”
Geppi said some of the animals reproduced during the years Animal Services negotiated with the woman.
PetsMart Charities is providing food and supplies for the animals, according to a news release.
The Humane Society, RedRover, Horse Helpers of the High Country, Code 3, Wake County Animal Shelter, Durham County Sheriff’s Office, Red Dog Farm Rescue Network, and local veterinarians also assisted with the rescue and removal of all of the animals, the release said.
Once legal custody of the animals has been determined and they have received needed care, Chatham County will provide more information for potential adoptions or donations.