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Dogs found in pens, owners could face felony charges

The owners of a property in Columbus County may be charged with felony dog abuse for leaving five dogs in pens without any food. The dogs were found after property damage from Hurricane Hermine led to one dog's escape. A falling tree branch damaged a dog pen, and the dog was seen wandering around the neighborhood in Columbus County.

When Columbus County Animal Control received reports about the stray dog, the investigation led to the discovery of an abandoned home. On the property, authorities found five dogs living inside of pens that contained dirty water and piles of excrement. Authorities say that some of the dogs were so hungry that they were eating the excrement. Some of the pens were not even large enough for the dogs to move around in.

Though there were no reports about who the owners of the dogs are, Animal Control is reportedly planning to charge the dog owners with five felonies for each dog plus five Class 1 misdemeanors and five Class 2 misdemeanors. The investigation was still ongoing after the dogs were taken into custody.

If there are illegal activities on an abandoned property, authorities might file charges even if the property owners were not aware of what was happening on their premises. An owner who is facing criminal charges for alleged wrongdoing on their property may want to have representation from a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may argue for reduced charges by trying to prove that the property owner had no knowledge of alleged criminal activities.

Source: WAVY-TV, "Hermine leads to discovery of felony dog abuse in North Carolina," Sept. 4, 2016

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