BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Twenty-seven animals are recovering after Brunswick County deputies said they were living in an apparent hoarding situation.
According to a news release, 12 dogs and 15 cats were rescued from a home in Shallotte on Wednesday. Deputies charged Elizabeth Wright, 73, with misdemeanor cruelty to animals. Investigators say they received numerous complaints from the community which prompted the investigation.
Officials said the animals were found in inhumane conditions. Deputies said most of the animals were covered with matted fur and many of their cages were filled with feces.
Animal Specialist Angela Hodges spent the day cleaning up the animals.
“What takes years to get this way is probably going to take us hours to clean up a dog as atrocious as Nikki,” Hodges said.
Hodges removed five pounds of fur from the dog, who she also said was covered in feces and urine.
“It’s gratifying to know that we can give the fresh air that they need,” Hodges said.
Lieutenant Thomas Tolley said they worked with the Shallotte Police Department on the case. They said Wright kept all 27 animals inside her home.
“We explained to her that a lot of these animals are sick and need immediate attention and better living conditions,” Tolley said.
Officials said this was a situation that got out of hand.
“People start off with good intentions but just get overwhelmed,” Tolley said.
“They get overwhelmed each day, so one more each month and what turns into help turns into a hoarding situation,” Hodges said.
But they stress if a situation ever gets overwhelming, there are people there to help.
“For the animals, I mean people come to us and say, ‘How could you do that line of work?’ I couldn’t not do it. I’m here to care for these animals,” Hodges said.