Signs outside the Rowan County Canine Shelter say the building is temporarily closed, after more than a hundred dogs were seized by the Sheriff's Office at one house Thursday.
"We never knew because they kept them all chained up and in the house and the little areas they had them in," reacted Samantha McBrayer, who was surprised to learn there were more than a hundred dogs taken from a house down the street.
McBrayer couldn't help but notice how quiet her block was today, saying there was always barking coming from down the street.
"You could hear them constantly yapping all the time," said McBrayer.
The dogs were seized on a search warrant by the Rowan County Sheriff's Office after receiving complaints about the noise. Deputy Ruford Abner said it was a shock to learn how many dogs were kept at the mobile home.
"There was 119 dogs all together," said Deputy Abner, who called it amazing that such a large number of dogs could be kept in such a small area.
"It breaks my heart, it's just hard," added Sue Creasap of Save the Animals of Rowan County, or STAR, who is helping coordinate the care and treatment of many of the dogs.
What makes things tougher, is the sudden increase in dogs at the pound, put an even bigger strain on the shelter, and the animal group STAR.
"It's hard on a county this size to have that many dogs," said Creasap.
Creasap says many of the dogs had fleas, matted hair, long toe nails, and other signs of inadequate care.
"There's quite a few dogs that you can't tell what breed they are, because they're so badly matted," described Creasap.
According to Deputy Abner, the pet owners have been cited for violating the county's kennel ordinance, but more charges could be pending based on the veterinarian's evaluation of the animals. Still Abner says he's not sure if this was a "puppy mill" or just a love of dogs gone too far.
The investigation is on going, and STAR says these dogs cannot be adopted out until the county allows it.