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Deputies rescue 40 neglected dogs and cats

FLETCHER — Sheriff's Maj. Frank Stout said he expects animal rescue organization to mount a community-wide effort to care for adopt out the 40 neglected dogs and cats that deputies rescued from a hone in Fletcher on Saturday.

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Henderson County deputies are investigating a case of animal cruelty after recovering 32 neglected dogs and eight cats that had been abandoned at a home in Fletcher. Deputies responded to a call on Saturday, March 4, to  54 Maxwell Drive in Fletcher regarding a health and welfare check of several animals. The initial call stated a family had moved from a house and left their animals with little food or water. Deputies found the animals in appalling conditions, Stout said. Deputies found the owner and gained access to the residence and two campers and an outbuilding on the property.

During the course of the investigation, the owner voluntarily surrendered all the animals to the Henderson County Animal Shelter and deputies began the process of safely gathering and transporting them. Deputies and shelter workers transported a total of 40 animals to the shelter. There were 28 different mixed breeds of dogs, four puppies and eight cats. The surrendered animals are all under the care of a veterinarian who is working with the shelter staff to ensure each animal is healthy and able to be placed for adoption as soon as practical. Civil and criminal charges are pending against the homeowner as the investigation continues.

"It appears there is going to be a community-wide effort through Brother Wolf and Blue Ridge Humane and others to get these dogs back in the condition to be adoptable," Stout said.