Two people are facing animal cruelty charges after dozens of animals were discovered at an abandoned Alabama home.
Police in Warrior, Alabama, investigated a mobile home after two concerned citizens called to inquire as to the well-being of several animals, as reported by WSFA. According to local residents, seven people suddenly left the residence and never returned, leaving numerous animals behind.
The Greater Birmingham Humane Society Animal Care and Control division were also contacted after law enforcement started to investigate the situation.
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"When they got here, some of them were very close to death," said Holly Baker, Director of Animal Care and Control. "Some of them were walking skeletons."
Once they realized more than 10 neglected animals were outside the home, they contacted additional backup.
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"I did see some dead puppies and some dead kittens when the Humane Society was out here and I felt bad because I didn’t know that many were inside because they didn’t have power for five or six days," neighbor Dustin Smith told WIAT.
In total, 17 adult dogs, six puppies, four turtles, nine cats and 15 kittens were removed from the residence.
"Of the 51 animals, 11 of the puppies, kittens and dogs were already deceased upon arrival, died after intake or had to be euthanized because of severe malnutrition," said officials with the Humane Society.
The 36 remaining animals are recuperating at the Animal Care and Control facility until a June 14 hearing at Warrior municipal court.
We are glad to be able to save these animals from such a horrendous situation," said Baker. “They deserve so much more than to be treated in such a callous manner.”
Two of the residents, 38-year-old Ricky Leroy Thomason and 30-year-old Elizabeth McGaw, turned themselves in to police after warrants were issued for their arrest. Both are facing charges of animal cruelty.
"It is imperative that we bring justice for these animals," said Allison Black Cornelius, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. "This situation is truly sickening and heartbreaking for these animals, and we hope to prosecute the owners to the fullest extent of the law. Until then, these animals will be under the care of our ACC veterinarians and staff to ensure they have a chance at life."