The Morehead News

Local News

October 11, 2011

118 dogs seized at mobile home

Oct. 11, 2011 —     Saving the Animals of Rowan (STAR) volunteers assisted sheriff’s deputies in the seizure of 118 dogs from a single-wide mobile home on Castle Road owned by Pat Blevins on Thursday afternoon.

    Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins said an anonymous complaint from a “concerned citizen” initiated the investigation into what they were told was a puppy mill that was selling very sick dogs.

    “There wasn’t a signed complaint, so a deputy sheriff and the county dog warden went to the Blevins home,” Watkins said. “Her son told them they could not search the property.”

    Watkins said county law requires a kennel license for anyone with more than six dogs.

    “The deputy and dog warden had evidence there were more than six on the property and obtained a search warrant enabling entry into the home,” he said.

    STAR volunteer Shannon Malone said the conditions inside were horrifying.     “There are at least half dozen breeds,” she said. “Some are pregnant, some puppies born just days ago,” she added.

    “Blevins and her husband were both charged with animal cruelty in 2004,” Watkins said. “Larry Blevins, who is now deceased, was convicted of animal cruelty second degree in October of 2004 and sentenced to probation, was ordered to pay a fine and could never be allowed to obtain a kennel license,” he added.

 Watkins said the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) contacted him Friday.

“The ASPCA is sending a veterinary team Monday to provide veterinary care and to evaluate the animals’ conditions at no cost to the taxpayers of Rowan County,” he said. “They will then assist with placement.”

    Tim and Stephanie Stamper, owners of the Fleming Regional Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic, are now housing the dogs that were already waiting for adoption at the Rowan shelter.

    “This will temporarily give the shelter room for the seized dogs,” Stephanie said. “We cancelled all of our spay and neuter appointments Friday and will take care of the Rowan shelter dogs.”

    “No one will be charged until all of the dogs have been evaluated,” Watkins said.  “There will be cruelty charges.  I just don’t know how many until the animals have been assessed.”

    Watkins added:

    “The seized dogs are not available for adoption until the investigation is completed. There have been more than  200 phone calls and more than 50 people trying to get into the shelter. At this point, donations are needed, but until evaluation and charges are made, we would ask the public to refrain from going to the shelter.”

Watkins said he hoped charges would be filed by Wednesday.

“The ASPCA will assist our office with the investigation and testify, if necessary, at trial,” he added.

    Kim Bandura can be reached at kbandura@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

 

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