Couple lived with 49 rabbits, 24 dogs and 7 cats in North Carolina home, deputies say

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A North Carolina couple is facing animal cruelty charges after an anonymous tip revealed they were living with 49 rabbits, 24 dogs and seven cats, according to the Caldwell County Animal Care Enforcement Division.

In the case of the rabbits, they “roamed freely in a bedroom,” officials told McClatchy News.

The discovery was made last week, as the couple was moving from one home to another in Lenoir, the division said in a May 27 news release. Lenoir is about 75 miles northwest of downtown Charlotte.

A search led to 80 animals being collected from two locations, the division said.

“At the time of the search warrant, the owners had already started moving animals from one residence to another. However, all of the animals initially lived in one residence,” the division officials said.

The couple “chose to surrender all of their animals,” many of which were found “living in feces,” county officials told McClatchy News.

Medical examinations revealed “several of the animals needed medical attention.” As a result, the suspects were “charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty,” the division said.

“Now that the animals are in our care, our job is to ensure they receive proper veterinary care and work with rescue groups to find suitable placement for these animals,” Caldwell County Animal Care Enforcement Division Director Richard Gilliland said in the release.

“We hope to have some of these animals available for adoption within the next week.

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