HOKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) --The nearly 700 animals rescued from unsanitary conditions at an unlicensed animal shelter in Hoke County were surrendered to the ASPCA on Thursday.
The animals were rescued from a shelter called The Haven-Friends for Life in January, and now they're almost ready for adoption.
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The two owners of the unlicensed shelter are facing four counts of animal cruelty charges, three counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, and the Hoke County Sheriff said there are still more charges to come.
Dozens of people are working around-the-clock for the ASPCA at various undisclosed locations to help the hundreds of animals recover.
"We have over 30 people a day constantly caring, and that's a small number," said ASPCA's director of investigations Kathryn Destreza.
The animals were found with an array of medical issues, but most are doing all right now. The team is focusing on manners and skill training to help them get ready for a forever home.
"We have that care staff come out with them, and they interact with them," Destreza said. "They have the opportunity to exercise, so that they're not just in a cage all day long, and that's a big part of sheltering."
Destreza said providing the animals with enrichment and stimulation is huge part of what they do to help make the animals adoption ready.
That includes things like providing baskets and boxes for cats, to create an individualized space in a group setting for play and behavior training - or training dogs to keep all four paws on the floor when meeting somebody new, to minimize over excitement.
Helping the animals make this behavior transition in hopes of being placed with a family is what it's all about for Destreza.
"Everything that we do is thinking about that, thinking about where is this animal going to end up and how can we make this animal just the best pet, and the best addition to a family," she said.
The ASPCA hopes to host a big adoption event for all of the animals rescued in this case by the end of the month.
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