The Mitchell News-Journal
The Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two people in connection to a recent animal neglect call and charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
Volunteers and employees from Mitchell County Animal Rescue and officers from the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office responded Friday, Oct. 25, to a report of animal neglect at a residence outside Bakersville.
The joint investigation resulted in four horses, two dogs and 19 cats being taken to the Mitchell County animal shelter. John Taylor, 68, and Ruthanne Taylor, 71, of Bakersville, were later arrested and charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals. They were released after posting a $1,500 bond and are scheduled to appear in court Dec. 4.
“I wish it were a felony to do animals this way,” said Donald Street, Mitchell County Sheriff. “But, the language in the general statute is why the charge is just a misdemeanor.”
Mitchell County Animal Rescue Executive Director Pam Coté reported two of the four horses remain in a “very delicate” condition and have an 80 percent chance of surviving. One of the horses collapsed this past week, and members of Bakersville Fire and Rescue, the sheriff’s office, and Mitchell County Emergency Management used the boom truck belonging to Young’s Fuel to get the horse back on her feet using a harness.
Cote said monetary donations to cover the costs of caring for these animals are needed, as are shelter supplies, alfalfa cubes, senior horse feed, rubber feeding tubs, (available at Grassy Creek Hardware and Fox Brothers Feed Store), horse halters and lead ropes, non-clumping clay cat litter and cleaning supplies. A list of needed items is available at www.mitchellcountyanimalrescue.org.
“We also need volunteers or foster homes willing to take in cats or dogs for temporary care,” Cote said. Monetary donations can be made on the website, on Facebook, by phone at 828-765-6952 or by mail at P.O. Box 308, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.