Animal control cites Cary family

October 13, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
UPDATE: 11/23/09 - Charles Becker and his daughter were aquitted of all charges when they went to court this fall. - Original Story -

A Cary family says it will fight to prove they are taking care of their animals properly.

Animal control went through a family's home Monday and issued five tickets, accusing them of tormenting their dogs and cats.

The family owns two dozen cats, dogs, birds, turtles and even geckos. They say the fuss is just over a few fleas. Animal control and neighbors aren't so sure.

A neighbor was concerned by what he saw and smelled, coming from the family's home. He called animal control, who found 28 animals in one room of the house.

"Everything that was said was not true," pet owner Candy Becker said.

Becker believes Cary Animal Control officers are wrong when it comes to her two dozen or so pets.

In July, they asked the Becker family to clean up their act and said they would return unannounced to make sure of it. But when they came back Monday, Becker refused to let them in.

So animal control got a search warrant and found the house was urine-soaked, and issued citations of neglect for five animals.

"They've got fleas," Becker said. "We have frontline, shampoos, we have flea collars, I mean I do what I can. It doesn't mean I don't take care of my animals."

But an animal patrol officer tells eyewitness news the family is clearly overwhelmed and the pets are suffering because of it.

"I can take care of my animals," Becker said. "Ok, yes they have fleas, didn't say they didn't, but do you get a warrant for fleas?"

The town of Cary has no limit on the number of pets one can own, as long as they are not farm animals or poisonous reptiles.

The Becker's will go to court in mid-November to find out if they face fines or face losing their animals.


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