For the second time in the past three days authorities are at a suspected puppy mill in Eastern Carolina. This time it happened at the home of a registered sex offender.
Hertford County deputies seized dozens of dogs at property on Pine Tops Road, southwest of Murfreesboro.
The Humane Society says 60 Australian Shepherds, including 13 puppies, were rescued from the home. The Guilford County Animal Shelter, Virginia Beach SPCA, Norfolk SPCA, and the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina assisted in the rescue.
Deputies say the property is owned by Terry Shinaberry. He has been charged so far with one count of animal cruelty.
Records show Shinaberry has been on the sex offender registry since a 1999 conviction for indecent liberties with a minor.
Animal control officers began investigating when a person bought a dog from Shinaberry, and they took it to a veterinarian who said the animal had received improper care.
Neighbors we spoke to say they're glad to see the animals get rescued. One claims he saw Shinaberry abusing the dogs.
Melvin Parker recalls, "Taking a pipe and hitting dogs with pipes, dogs that attack each other and kill them and then he burns them in the backyard. He put a fence around it that's back there now."
Shinaberry has agreed to turnover all of the dogs on the property, except for five. The Humane Society said the man claimed he was running an animal rescue, but they said there is evidence dogs have been bred on the property.
The Humane Society says the dogs are in need of medical attention, some are emaciated, while others have eye infections. Some are even missing limbs.
Kim Alboum, North Carolina state director for the Humane Society, said, "We are grateful that the breeder made the humane choice to surrender these dogs so that they may have a chance at a happy life. Sadly, these situations are not uncommon in our state. That is why we sincerely hope our lawmakers will pass a law this session to crack down on puppy mills."
There are no specific North Carolina laws to protect dogs sold directly to the public or online by commercial breeding facilities. Law enforcement officers, therefore, are unable to prevent neglect until it reaches crisis proportions.
On Friday, two Duplin County men were charged with animal cruelty after nearly 50 dogs were found outside of Faison in a suspected puppy mill.