Animal Control seizes dogs living in SUV

May 10, 2012 3:17:56 PM PDT
More than a dozen dogs have been seized from a Cumberland County woman after authorities found the woman, her son, and all of the dogs living together in an SUV.

Sharman Tober and her 35-year-old son with special needs have been homeless for several weeks. The family was kicked out of a house in Harnett County because of all the dogs.  

That's when Tober, her son and the dogs moved into the family's Ford Expedition.

"It was a little bit tight," said Tober. "But they love us and we love them. It worked out. We'd let them out, let them run and play, and stuff like that."

The dogs are not small. Some are black labs. At least one is a rottweiler mix.

Animal control officers found the vehicle packed with dogs living in squalor. Some of the animals were in need of serious medical attention.

"[They had] parasite infestation, worm infestation. One of them had a broke canine that was hanging from the mouth that needed to be operated on," said Cumberland County Animal Control Director Dr. John Lauby. "She didn't have the money to pay to a veterinarian. So she was just keeping the dog in her car."

Maureen Lee is a volunteer rescue coordinator. She plans to get information about the dogs to a network of animal rescue groups in hopes of finding them homes. She said this case is heartbreaking.

"It's sad because you see a lady that was trying very hard to hang on to her dogs despite possible economy issues as to why she was living in her vehicle," said Lee.

Tober and her son continue to live in their SUV. Meanwhile, time is running out for her dogs.

"We have space limitation here and we're doing everything we can to deal with rescue groups to try to find homes for these animals, or at least foster homes to where we don't have to put them to sleep," said Lauby.

If you think you can help, contact Cumberland County Animal Control at (910) 321-6852 or visit them at 4704 Corporation Drive in Fayetteville.

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