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Animal cruelty/neglect tip leads to arrest
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Animal cruelty/neglect tip leads to arrest

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Burke County Animal Services is housing 10 dogs and a cat from a home in the Chesterfield area after their former owner ended up in jail on a parole violation on Monday.

Jeff Sellers was arrested Monday after an anonymous tip lead Burke County Animal Services Enforcement Supervisor Pete Aldridge and members of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Probation and Parole ACE team to the home on an animal cruelty/neglect complaint, according to a release from Burke County.

Sellers surrendered the dogs, which were terrier/spaniel mixed breeds, and an orange tabby cat to Aldridge.

When the officers entered the home, the animals were found to be in poor condition from inadequate nutrition, dehydration, various skin conditions and infested with fleas, the release said.

The release said the interior of the home was found to be in an “appalling condition” with debris, and it was heavily contaminated with feces and urine.

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The animals were transported to the Burke County Animal Services Center, located at 425 Kirksey Drive in Morganton, where they were evaluated and will receive medical care as needed, the release said.

Aldridge said the animals are being treated for some of the conditions they have and are being held for evidence at the animal services center. He said the county is looking at possible charges against Sellers, depending on what veterinarians treating the animals tell them about the animals’ conditions.

Since criminal charges are pending, the animals are not available for adoption at this time, the county release said.

However, residents that want to contribute to the care of the animals and others housed at the animal services center, monetary and material donations are gladly accepted, the release said.

Burke County Manager Bryan Steen said in the release that he wants residents to know that animal cruelty/animal neglect will not be tolerated in Burke County and perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Those who suspect animal cruelty or neglect in the unincorporated areas of Burke County can call Animal Services Enforcement Officers at 828-764-9588.

Steen and the Burke County Animal Services thanked Marty Thomas, chief probation/parole officer, and the ACE Team, as well as Paige Nance, chief probation/parole officer, and Kevin Miller, judicial district manager for the 25th district for the N.C. Dept. of Public Safety, for their cooperation and assistance in the case.

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