NC shelter thanks community for support after animal cruelty case puts them over capacity


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – Seventy animals are getting a second chance at life at the Rutherford County Animal Shelter, after they were seized in an animal cruelty case by the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

According to shelter staff, the out-pour of support from the community has helped them stay afloat after the shelter was initially over-capacity on Monday, when the animals were dropped off.

“If I can just rub a belly or make them smile, or one lick to the face. They deserve that, and they deserve a second chance,” said Brian Ebert, a volunteer and wounded warrior who spent days helping with influx.

According to James Kilgo with Rutherford County Animal Control, people have been dropping off donations all week.

“Public support has been great,” Kilgo said Thursday. “We’ve received a lot of dog food cat food, treats, blankets, crates, towels.”

Thirty-two cats, 32 dogs, 2 roosters, 3 chickens and a pig were all seized from a property on Freeman Road in Forest City, with animals found living in poor conditions, Kilgo confirmed.

Volunteers from the Rutherford County Humane Society reportedly helped the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office during the pet rescue.

“Dogs living in their own feces. Cats living in their own feces. Water bowls with green water in them. No food,” Humane Society board member Karen Cuthbert explained.

Two women, Barbara Pruett King and Erica Shea McMahan, were arrested and charged with felony killing of an animal by starvation, disposal of dead domesticated animal, cruelty to animals and resisting a public officer.

Wile some animals are recovering well, others are barely hanging on, according to shelter staff.

“There’s still some that are in question as to whether or not they’re going to make it, but we’re fighting hard for them every day,” Cuthbert said. “That’s all we can do, you know.”

Click here more information about the shelter.

Click here to donate to a GoFundMe created for the shelter.

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