Closings and delays

18 dogs seized from breeding facility in Alamance County

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- Animal control has seized 18 dogs from a breeding facility in Alamance County after four dogs were found dead this weekend.

Several call and posts on social media sparked an investigation into possible animal neglect or abuse at a German and Dutch Shepherd breeding facility in Alamance County.

Sheriff's officials showed up at Brewers Kennel on Union Ridge Road multiple times over two weeks and they didn't find anything wrong.

"The problem is, when we were getting this information, [it] was coming to us off of social media and stuff like that, we go out there, and we find better food than you feed your family," said Randy Jones, the public information officer for the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.

Posts on social media indicated awful conditions at Brewers Kennel, such as dehydration, heat stroke and the dogs eating only raw meat.

"Well some of that stuff on Facebook was saying, 'Well the dogs were standing in their own urine and feces,'" Jones said. "Do you see anything?"

What investigators found on their first of four unannounced visits was much different.

"High quality food provided on the premises, everything's being done in a proper manner there," Jones said. "We found absolutely no issues whatsoever."

But on Saturday, deputies and animal control officers responded to another complaint. According to a press release, this was the only time investigators found evidence of "possible animal neglect."

Sheriff's officials found four dead dogs and they say all the dogs appeared to have died within in a short time of each other.

Sheriff's officials say they also have no idea what happened. The dogs didn't show signs of abuse, neglect, trauma or emaciation.

The four dogs were sent to Raleigh for canine autopsies and the criminal investigation can't move forward until the autopsies show how they died.

"We need to do this in order to have the prosecution," Jones said. "We can't go forward until we have some idea of what did or did not."

Jones said whether the dog's owner will face charges depends on the nature of their deaths.

Until the investigation wraps up, several of the remaining 18 dogs will be housed at Burlington Animal Services. A few are being kept at veterinarians and private shelter across the county.

FOX8 was not allowed to see the dogs at BAS because the investigation is still active.

But bringing in these dogs is putting a strain on the already overcrowded animal shelter.

"We're bursting at the seams," Animal Services Director Jessica Arias said.

They're in desperate need of families to adopt or foster large dogs. The shelter is so full, they had to set up temporary kennels in spare rooms across the facility.

"Being in crates is not an ideal long-term situation for a dog," Arias said.

Shelter officials say the best way to help the dogs waiting on the investigation is to help the dogs who've been waiting in a shelter for months.

"They can give you love beyond compare," Arias said. "It's a special, unique relationship to have with a dog."

The shelter is waiving its $90 adoption fee for all dogs through the end of July.