WAYNESVILLE - Animal rescue groups have begun trying to find homes for more than 140 dogs surrendered in what officials call a hoarding case in Haywood County.
Between 50 and 60 dogs were housed at a temporary shelter in Waynesville as of Wednesday. Several animal rescue groups have also taken some of the animals in hopes of finding them homes, including Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, Duke’s Animal Haven and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.
Doyle Teague, director of Haywood County Animal Services, said the dogs became available for adoption Wednesday.
Haywood County officials visited the property on Terrace Drive in Canton last week after getting a noise complaint. The caller thought the owners had about 20 dogs, according to Teague.
Teague said 55 dogs were found inside a single-wide mobile home. Another nine were living inside a camper trailer. The rest were in pens on the property.
The owners, three members of a family, voluntarily surrendered all but four of the animals on the property.
Teague said the family members had been taking in strays and things got out of hand.
"It looked like it had been going on for a long time. They got in way over their head," Teague said. "They had good intentions. It just was not a good situation for the animals."
Teague said he is continuing to investigate the situation.
Erica Chacon, adoption center manager and animal care manager for Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, said one of the dogs gave birth to puppies and some of the other dogs are either pregnant or have had puppies.
A few of the dogs had eye problems, and a number of them have the skin disease mange. They are being treated for the health issues.
Haywood County officials worked to set up the temporary shelter Friday and began accepting the dogs on Saturday.
“There are waiting lists (for adoption) on some of the dogs already,” Chacon said.
Chacon said there’s still a need for volunteers to clean crates, walk the dogs and socialize them at the temporary shelter. In addition, donations of large black trash bags, disinfectant wipes, paper towels and bedding are still needed.
“The community support has been awesome. We couldn’t have asked for any better support than what we’ve gotten,” Chacon said.
Want to adopt?
Dogs surrendered in a Canton hoarding case were available for adoption starting Wednesday. Some remain at a temporary shelter at 202 Lea Plant Road, Waynesville. Haywood County Animal Control has lowered the adoption fee for the animals. Others have been taken by animal rescue organizations.
For more information, visit the following websites:
The Friends of Haywood County Animal Shelter Facebook page is providing more information about the status of the dogs and is being used to coordinate donations. Petsmart at 321 Town Center Loop, Waynesville, is also accepting donations.