45 animals removed from NC couple’s home

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina couple faces animal cruelty charges after two dead kittens were found in a freezer and 45 animals were seized from their home.

Damien Irvin, 21, and Samantha Wesche, 19, were arrested on Friday after deputies searched their home and found a dead dog and two dead kittens inside a freezer, the Daily News reports. Deputies searched the property after receiving an anonymous phone tip from someone who said they encountered “a strong odor” the last time they visited the home.

In total, officials removed 31 dogs, 13 cats, and one pig. One dog was found dead and the other was “euthanized at the scene.”

Irvin and Wesche had been out of town since May 6.

“The residence did not have a properly functioning air conditioner at the time entry was made,” OCAS Director Howard Martin said in a statement. “Our officers found all animals, including the pig, in pet crate without proper food and water supplies. Several of the cats’ crates were found inside a bathroom and closets.”

Irvin and Wesche each face two felony counts of killing an animal by starvation and 45 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. It’s unclear if they have lawyers.