Mom, son face animal cruelty charges after 57 dogs seized in Orange County

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BLACKWOOD, N.C. (WNCN) — An Orange County mom and her son are being charged with felony cruelty to animals after nearly 60 dogs and puppies were seized Friday.

The Orange County Animal Services Department and Orange County deputies searched two properties along Alexander Drive on Friday, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The search came from an Oct. 9 tip about “malnourished animals, parasitic infestations, and unsanitary conditions,” the news release said.

After the tip, animal services officers investigated at the properties off Alexander Drive, which is about four miles south of Hillsborough.

“They were unable to make contact with anyone, but noted an overpowering smell of urine and feces,” the news release said.

Officials also contacted a veterinarian who had examined animals at the property who supported information that “that the general appearance of the facility and the condition of the animals were indicative of poor husbandry,” according to the news released.

During the search Friday, 57 dogs and puppies were seized, the release said.

Taylor Doar, 35, and his mother Cynthia Riggan, 65, were charged with felony cruelty to animals, according to the news release.

Doar is already in custody. Riggan “is expected to turn herself in later” Friday, the news release said.

The dogs will be held at the Orange County Animal Services shelter and given complete medical evaluations and treatment, according to Bob Marotto, the Orange County Animal Services Director.

“If they become the property of Orange County, we will take all reasonable measures to ensure the animals have long lives and are appropriately rehomed if the case is decided in our favor,” Marotto said in the news release.

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