Adoption of nearly 700 rescued animals to start later this month in Sanford

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly 700 animals rescued from a Hoke County shelter are now ready to find permanent homes, and a three-day adoption event has been planned to help make it happen.

From March 18 to 20, people can go to the temporary shelter in Sanford and approved homes will be paired with a new four-legged friend.

The ASPCA has been nursing the dogs, cats, horses, pigs and birds back to health since they were removed from the Haven Animal Shelter back in January following complaints. The owners, Stephen and Linden Spear, are now facing animal cruelty charges.

“Now that we have this opportunity to get these guys adopted to another home — a forever home — we’re absolutely thrilled,” said Ehren Melius, a shelter director with ASPCA.

Melius says this is the largest companion animal cruelty case the ASPCA has ever done.

“Cruelty his horrible regardless of the scale but to see it in this kind of numbers where it’s nearly 700 animals that were that neglected is pretty horrendous,” said Melius.

Upwards of 90 people have been working daily in the temporary shelter to get the animals ready for adoption. Behaviorists have been working with the animals, they’ve received daily exercise and have been medically treated.

Melius says they not only want to find the nearly 700 animals new homes, but they want to find them the right homes.

“Each animal is a unique individual,” he said. “We’ve spent the last few weeks getting to know them, so we want to make sure they’re matched up well with the right home, so that way that placement is permanent.”

If there are still animals left over after the adoption event, Melius says the ASPCA is committed to continuing to work to find them homes.

“We’re working really hard on getting these animals out to a network of partner agencies in other states — response partners and placement partners — who can then take those animals into their own shelters and find them homes,” he said.

The temporary shelter is located at 2217 Nash Street in Sanford. The adoption event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on March 18, 19 and 20.

The ASPCA is asking potential pet owners to bring an ID, proof of address and a pet carrier if they have one.

Adoption counselors will be on hand to work one-on-one to help make matches.

Melius says all adoption fees will be waived and all the animals will be spayed or neutered as well as microchipped. They will also have their rabies vaccinations.

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