Animals removed from Lewiston home

Published 7:24 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

LEWISTON WOODVILLE – Nearly 50 animals were removed from a home on Mitchell Street here Thursday morning.

According to Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins, tips were received by the Lewiston Woodville Police Department concerning the home and the number of animals being kept there.

“They called us to help with the investigation,” the sheriff said. “We drew a warrant and served it Thursday morning.”

When officers arrived at the home, which is occupied by Stephen Kyprinides according to the search warrant, they were unable to enter the dwelling because of the high levels of ammonia.

Sheriff Atkins said officers had to call for a Lewiston Woodville Fireman who went in with a mask and opened doors to ventilate the home. Once they were inside, deputies found 46 dogs and three cats in the home.

“I can’t describe the filth,” the sheriff said. “The home was unsanitary and unclean.”

Sheriff Atkins said it was necessary to enter the dwelling not only for the safety of the animals, but for the person’s well-being. The ammonia levels had reached an unsafe level.

So far, the 49 animals have been dispersed to the Bertie County Animal Shelter, the Chowan County Animal Shelter and two various homes of humane society members.

“We can’t handle 49 animals on top of our daily load,” Sheriff Atkins said, making reference to the Bertie shelter.

The sheriff called in a veterinarian from North Carolina State University to assist with the case and also had help from the County Chowan Sheriff’s Office.

He said charges are pending in the case, but none have been filed at this time.