GASTONIA, N.C. (WJZY) — Dozens of dogs that were rescued from an apparent hoarding situation in Gaston County are being cared for across the region.
Piedmont Animal Rescue of Mooresville was one of the groups responsible for taking in nearly 60 dogs over the weekend from that one property.
Piedmont Animal Rescue got the most serious of cases.
Among them was a dog named Charlie, a dog with cataracts and nails so long it hurt for the dog to walk. Pictures on the day of his rescue also showed skin issues related to fleas, along with an apparent flea infestation.
“When he came in, he was all curled up in a ball and looked shut down,” said Luann McInnerney. “I was like, ‘that’s the one that I want.'”
Charlie appears, because of his cataracts, to also be nearly completely blind.
“Yesterday, he got his voice, so he’s been howling,” said McInnerney.
In total, 63 dogs were found at the home.
Tri-County Animal Rescue and Piedmont Animal Rescue both said the owner of the property, a woman in her 70s, had unintentionally let the dog population get to a point where it was more than she could handle.
The groups said the dog houses had inches of mud inside, and conditions inside the home were not acceptable for animals, given the amount.
The owner surrendered most of her dogs. She was not charged and was allowed to keep a small number of dogs, provided they get spayed and neutered.
“We’ve seen this numerous times,” said Lynn Gullett with Piedmont Animal Rescue. “But this is by far the largest we have ever dealt with.”
One of the other dogs rescued had a massive hernia that rescue groups said looked as if it were a tumor. The hernia will require risky surgery, Gullet said.
Gullet also said some of the dogs are feral, having had little, if any, contact with humans. It may likely be weeks, or longer before the dogs will be adaptable.