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Puppies & Mom Doing Well As Accused Abandoners Have Court Date

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A man and a woman accused of animal abandonment had their cases continued Wednesday, while the ten puppies and mom are doing well.

Deputies said Rikki Porter and Justin Magee dropped off nine puppies at the doorstep of a closed animal shelter on Monday, June 9th, while keeping one along with the mother. The puppies were found in a flimsy cardboard box by workers who just happened to return after a late meeting.

Deputies said the couple turned themselves in that Wednesday after surveillance video of the drop off had been released to the media.

After the couple's arrest, the puppies were united with their mother, Harley. Five of the puppies and mom remain with Callie Richardson, while the other five are in foster homes.

Richardson explains the mother became overwhelmed, so they had to be split up.

The puppies have opened their eyes and have gained nearly three pounds since they were abandoned.

Richardson says the pups will be up for adoption in August after being spayed or neutered and Harley will be adoptable within the next couple of weeks.

The two had their cases continued until August 6th.


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A Pitt County man and woman who are accused of abandoning nine newborn puppies were out of jail by Friday morning.

Rikki Porter and Justin Magee both made their first appearance in court Thursday morning on nine counts each of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and nine counts of animal abandonment.

The couple, who spent Wednesday night in jail, went before a District Court judge Thursday morning at the Pitt County Detention Center.

The judge told Porter and Magee they face a maximum 240 days in jail.

The two are accused of dropping the nine puppies off at the animal shelter after it closed Monday night. The puppies were found in a flimsy cardboard box by workers who just happened to return after a late meeting.

The pups and their mother were reunited Wednesday afternoon.

Animal Control Director Michele Whaley said she feels the charges are justified.

"What concerns me is this is not a story where there wasn't a mother dog present and they were overwhelmed," said Whaley. "They still had the mother dog and chose to keep one puppy, so those circumstances makes this situation entirely different."

The puppies will need about eight weeks before they can be successfully adopted out by the Humane Society.


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A mother dog has been reunited with nine of her puppies and a couple who deputies say abandoned them have been charged.

Pitt County deputies say the couple turned themselves in around lunch time on Wednesday.

Rikki Porter and Justin Magee have been each charged with nine counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals and nine counts of animal abandonment.

Deputies say while the woman was being booked, the man took deputies and animal control to his home to get the mother dog and one other puppy.

The two are accused of dropping the nine puppies off at the animal shelter after it closed Monday night. The puppies were found in a flimsy cardboard box by workers who just happened to return after a late meeting.

Animal Control Director Michele Whaley said Wednesday she feels the charges are justified.

"What concerns me is this is not a story where there wasn't a mother dog present and they were overwhelmed," said Whaley. "They still had the mother dog and chose to keep one puppy, so those circumstances makes this situation entirely different."

The puppies will need about eight weeks before they can be successfully adopted out by the humane society.

Deputies said both Magee and Porter will make a first appearance on those charges Thursday morning. We will let you know what happens in court.



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Authorities are looking for a man and a woman who dropped off nine newborn puppies outside a closed animal shelter Monday night.

Pitt County Animal Control says fortunately there was a late meeting off-site and shelter staff returned to find them. Michele Whaley says if the 5 females and 4 male pups weren't found last night they would have starved or even drowned from heavy overnight downpours.

It is believed the puppies are a week old.

The puppies were dropped off around 7:15 p.m. and found around 8:30 p.m. in a flimsy box.

Animal Control is now working with deputies to find the couple. They want to charge the two with abandonment and animal cruelty.

Surveillance video of the couple was released today, showing the two dropping off the pups in a gold or silver Toyota Camry. In the video, you can see the man pull the box of puppies out of the car's backseat. The box broke and all of the pups fell to the pavement.

If anyone knows who the people are in the video they should call the Pitt County Sheriff's Office at (252) 902-2800.

Volunteers are now caring for the puppies.


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