FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) - Two Forrest County children who were living in a mobile home with two dozen pets in what law enforcement officials have called dangerous and unsanitary conditions have been taken into protective custody by state authorities, following a seizure of the animals Wednesday afternoon.
Forrest County Sheriff's Dept. investigators say the children, ages 11 and 13, were removed from a home at 45 J.L. Williams Road, Lot 23 Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, 16 dogs and cats were seized from the property by deputies, along with representatives from the Southern Pines Animal Shelter. Shelter personnel said the pets were not malnourished, but they showed other signs of neglect.
They are currently being evaluated by shelter staff.
"They were living (around) waste and feces and the conditions were just deplorable," said Ginny Sims, manager of Southern Pines Animal Shelter. "And so to walk in and know that everyday, they were breathing that air and for some of them, it's where they were born and it's where they lived years of their life, it was really a tough thing," she said.
During the seizure, authorities said they found two dead cats in the home and discovered several sets of burned animal bones in a barrel in the back yard. They also said several husky-shepherd mix puppies escaped from the home before they could be rounded up.
No charges have been filed yet, but authorities said the homeowner could face charges of child endangerment and neglect and animal neglect.