CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (FOX 46) - Officials from Catawba County Animal Services said they removed 358 animals from a residence in Claremont, NC on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
The animals were discovered the previous day during an investigation by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office in a different matter. After obtaining a warrant, the chickens, dogs and a cat were removed by Animal Services, authorities said.
Investigators said they are working to determine if the chickens were used for cockfighting. Many of the animals appeared injured with open sores and missing feathers or sick and had signs of neglect. In addition to the live animals, officials said they found 40 dead animals in cages and pens.
The animals were taken to a secure location and immediately fed and hydrated. They are being examined by veterinarians, tested for communicable diseases that are a public health risk and evaluated for re-homing potential. Catawba County is working with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to assure the humane treatment of the animals and that all steps are being taken to protect the public’s health.