Woman charged in Roanoke County animal hoarding case

By  | 

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) Police in Roanoke are investigating an animal hoarding case involving the Forever Home Animal Rescue.

This stems from photos on social media on the alleged conditions inside the place.

Police say they are aware of the photos and did not find those conditions when the home was searched.

“We were aware of the social media posts and none of the conditions we found this morning were anything like the posts," Roanoke County Community Service Officer Eric Hubble said.

"All the animals at the time were in good body condition, which is good muscle mass, and well fed, and taken care of."

The owner of Forever Home is facing six charges including one count of unsanitary conditions.

Here's the entire release from Roanoke County police:

The Roanoke County Police Department is aware of social posts regarding an animal hoarding case involving Forever Home Animal Rescue located in the 3500 block of Chaparral Drive. Police went to the home this morning and found 15 dogs. All of the dogs are in good body condition and health.

Roanoke County Code states it is unlawful to keep more than three dogs unless you apply and are approved for a dog kennel license. The owner does not have a business license and is no longer able to act as an animal rescue organization in Roanoke County. The owner was given notice to come into compliance with the Code.

Police charged the owner with one count each of Kennel Violation; No County Tags; No Rabies Vaccination; No Rabies Certificate; Unsanitary Conditions; and Responsible Animal Care.

While many social media posts claim the conditions of the home to be deplorable, police have been inside the entire home and found the only unsanitary conditions are related to the amount of ammonia smell from dog urine. Police are aware of the photos posted on social media and did not find those types of conditions when the home was searched today. Police say citizens and organizations have come forward to place the dogs elsewhere and they are being removed from the home.

Angels of Assisi inssued a statement in response to news of the case.

Here is their complete statement:

On Tuesday, March 14th, 2017, our executive director at Angels of Assisi, Lisa O’Neill, was approached by a citizen who had serious concerns about conditions that she had observed at a Roanoke County residence. This residence housed dogs for Forever Home Animal rescue (FHAR), a local home-based rescue organization. After this conversation in which the citizen described what she had seen, Ms. O’Neill contacted animal control authorities in both Roanoke County and Franklin County, the two counties where FHAR houses animals.

Angels of Assisi stands against animal cruelty and neglect and looks for ways to help both the animals and people involved in these cases. In our board’s opinion, Ms. O’Neill did the correct thing by bringing this situation to the attention of those authorities whom we are certain will take appropriate action based on their professional judgement.

This board expects all employees of Angels of Assisi to act promptly when allegations of animal abuse or neglect are brought to their attention and Ms. O’Neill’s actions were both appropriate and necessary. It is not within the scope of her job duties to verify or pass judgement on the validity of the allegations but rather to leave that up to those charged with that task, our local Animal Control officials.

All of us at Angels of Assisi remain ready to assist as needed.