Asheville, NC is known for being one of the most pet-friendly cities in America, but that certainly wasn’t the case for a staggering 600 dogs, cats and horses rescued during a raid on an unlicensed animal care facility.
Linden and Stephen Spear ran The Haven – Friends For Life animal “shelter.” I put “shelter” in quotes because their facility was anything but.
Along with local authorities, the Asheville Humane Society raided the property and rescued over 600 animals, including 300 dogs, 250 cats, and 40 horses. Reports say that the shelter has housed as many as 1000 animals at a time. It’s been in operation for at least 10 years. The Spears did not have a license for the shelter.
Captain John Kivett, who is with the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, told WRAL:
You’ve got animals out here with open wounds, obvious skin conditions. Animals that appear to be malnourished.
Few animals had adequate shelter, many had no shelter at all. Some were kept in outdoor crates and pens.
It will take days to remove all of the animals from the facility. Once the animals are safe, they will all need medical care.
The Spears are facing animal cruelty charges and authorities are holding them on $5,000 secured bonds.
Watch the ASPCA’s video on the rescue:
You can donate to the ASPCA to help care for these animals and other animals in need via their website.