NEWTON, N.C. -- Investigators have charged a Newton woman with 15 counts of animal cruelty.

Jessica Isenhour was allegedly running a puppy mill out of a house on Alexis Renee Court.

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Isenhour was selling dogs in New Jersey and that some of the dogs had died of a potent virus called Parvo.
Isenhour runs an animal rescue group called Saving Fur Kids.

Rick Yocum of the NJSPCA said Isenhour was hiding behind the alleged animal rescue veil to operate a for-profit puppy mill or pet dealership.

No one answered the door at Isenhour's home where dogs could be heard barking. Neighbors said there were several kennels in the yard, but the fences were draped so it was impossible to see inside. Through a small clearing at a spot in the back, five or six dogs could be observed.

A woman who said she was a friend and also rescued dogs said the charges of animal cruelty were bogus.

The charges have to do with animals that weren't ever in her care. They were already in the adoptive owner's care, said Deborah Laux.

The NJSPCA said Isenhour failed to provide proof of examinations by a NJ licensed veterinarian prior to selling the animals.

Isenhour is facing a court hearing next month in New Jersey.

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