FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Two people face charges after a trio of bearded dragons were found abandoned in a storage unit for a month during the winter, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Jamie Lee Sartin, 24, of Winston-Salem, and Taylor Brianne Moore, 25, of Advance, were both charged with cruelty to animals and abandonment of animals.
On Dec. 23, employees of a local storage facility contacted the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office after finding a glass habitat with three bearded dragons inside in a unit. Workers were locking out the unit because the owner had not made appropriate payments, FCSO said.
Deputies say the bearded dragons were breathing, but they were missing toes and were very lethargic due to the temperature and possible lack of food and care.
The gate code for that unit hadn’t been used since late November 2021
Animal Services took the bearded dragons and reached out to a local reptile expert for help.
One of the bearded dragons died while it was being moved from the storage unit. The veterinarian said it likely died of malnutrition or starvation after determining that it was grossly underweight and malnourished but did not appear to have any diseases or conditions. The bearded dragon was taken to the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for a necropsy.
The other two were severely emaciated and suffering from other health conditions caused by living in an environment that is dangerous for their species.
Deputies say the two surviving bearded dragons were in critical condition for their first few days but are now recovering.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office directly at (336) 727-2112, anonymously text information via Text-A-Tip to (336) 920-8477 or anonymously call Crimestoppers at (336) 727-2800 for English or (336) 728-3904 for Spanish.