WJTV News Channel 12 - Animal Control issues warning to Pitt County animal breeder

Animal Control issues warning to Pitt County animal breeder

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - A Pitt County spokesperson tells Nine On Your Side some of the animals voluntarily surrended by Warren have been adopted.  Kiara Jones says the investigation is still ongoing and few other details are available. 

Pitt County Animal Control says they issued a backyard breeder a written warning.

Darlene Warren owns 45 dogs, 8 cats, and dozens of other animals..

Tuesday, Animal Control ordered her to fix their shelters, clean up their enclosures, and change out some of the water.

The county's public information officer said Warren gave some animals over to Animal Control today. They say they will continue to work with Warren to make sure all her animals are taken care of. No word on when or if the animals surrendered will be up for adoption.

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You asked, we answered. A woman buys a dog from a backyard breeder only to be concerned for its health. Are the breeder's conditions acceptable?

It appears the breeder's barely meeting minimum state requirements. Darlene Warren lives in a house off Highway 264 and VOA Site C Road.

Her home full of animals: 45 dogs, 8 cats, 2 chinchillas, half a dozen birds and few flying squirrels. Monday morning she wasn't home for comment but answered our phone call a couple hours later.

Over the phone Warren said she breeds about 15 of them to stay busy. “I’m a hobby breeder; that's the only thing that gets me out of the house."

Warren agreed to meet us at her house and give us a tour without our cameras.

What we found could be disturbing to some. Animals in small cages in odd place, animal feces throughout the house and shivering pets.

They are conditions that Pitt County Animal Control says they are familiar with.

"We have interacted with this citizen 1 time." Shelter Manager Michele Whaley says the Sheriff's Office requested they visit the house in September 2013.

Officers cited warren for not providing adequate shelter for 2 dogs and for failing to produce proof of vaccination for all her pets. They didn’t cite her for having too many animals because there is no limit in the unincorporated sections of Pitt County.

"In Pitt County there is no limit as to the number of animals someone can have." Whaley said.

According to North Carolina law an owner must provide a pet with adequate food, water and proper housing shelter. That’s it.

“Sadly as long as they have somewhere to get in from the elements, there's not very much I can do about it,” Whaley said. Pitt County considers a proper shelter as something that has a top and sides.

The conditions at Warren's house met the state's requirements. However, Whaley wants to see something done to protect animals like the ones at Warren's house.

Animal control officers went Monday afternoon to check on the animals. Warren says she was not cited, but that animal control said they will be back Tuesday. The county says this case will remain under investigation.
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