Dog abuse suspect surrenders

Published 4:26 pm Friday, June 9, 2023

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WINTON – The owner of 100-plus dogs seized last month at his home near Murfreesboro has been formally charged with animal cruelty.

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said that Terry Shinaberry surrendered earlier this week after being released from medical care.

Upon turning himself in to the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, Shinaberry was served arrest warrants for two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, three counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Shinaberry made a court appearance on Friday in Winton.

On May 16, the Humane Society of the United States assisted the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office in rescuing over 114 dogs/puppies in a large-scale alleged cruelty situation at Shinaberry’s residence located on Pine Tops Road.

Local authorities served a search and seizure warrant on a dilapidated property consisting of a mobile home and several outdoor pens. Hayes said Shinaberry complained of a medical ailment upon the search warrants being served and was taken to the hospital by Hertford County EMS.

Though obscured from view by debris and an overgrown fence line, responders to the property saw generally filthy conditions from the road and could smell feces. The dogs and puppies appeared to suffer from a lack of basic care and were living in unsanitary, hazardous conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations.

A veterinarian immediately noted that many of the dogs appear very thin and some are severely emaciated, with visible ribs and hip bones protruding. Some were so dehydrated that they required subcutaneous fluids on-scene.

Responders noticed dogs eating feces. Several dogs had eye issues and some dogs and puppies had skin conditions characterized by missing hair, open sores and itching.

Rescuers saw multiple litters of nursing puppies throughout the property. A mother dog with matted fur and puppies, so young their eyes have not yet opened, were crated inside the residence while other nursing litters of similar ages were outdoors in group pens, their mothers watching vigilantly over them.

One-by-one, the dogs/puppies were placed in animal carriers and examined/documented by an onsite veterinarian, and then placed in a climate-controlled trailer.

Orange County Animal Services assisted in the rescue effort.

An official with the Humane Society of the United States said veterinarians subsequently confirmed that multiple dogs have pellets embedded in their skin, presumably from being shot with a pellet gun.

They added that all of the animals have embarked on their long road to recovery, starting with much-needed veterinary care in a comfortable, safe environment.

Despite the many health challenges, responders share a sense of optimism as the dogs settle into a routine in the temporary shelter environment.

“I’ve been enjoying just watching them lay down and sleep. These dogs have been living in overcrowded conditions, struggling to get their basic needs met, like enough food and water,” said Jessica Johnson, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ animal rescue team. “This is probably the first time they’ve been able to eat and sleep in peace. Watching them sleep so soundly… I’m thinking it’s got to be the best nap they’ve ever had.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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