BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- For the Pender County Animal Shelter, a dozen more mouths to feed is nothing to sniff at. As the shelter undergoes renovations, there's already limited space.
"We had zero kennels when we received these dogs. None," shelter manager Darlene Clewis. "So we pushed and moved them here and there, and we have zero left now. Zero kennels."
Animal Control Officer Penny Brown says she found the 12 Walker hounds in poor condition earlier this week, especially for these high temperatures.
"It was so extremely hot, and I could not see any visible signs that there had been water there any time recently," Brown said. "I do not know exactly how long they had been without water, but luckily it was not too late for any of them."
The dogs have been checked out by a vet and are getting the care they need. Brown continues to investigate the owner, who could soon face criminal charges.
Clewis says after renovations the shelter will have 20 new kennels within the next few months. Until then the shelter is again looking for help from the community, or some of the animals will be put down to ease the crowding.
"We have had a lot of help from Adopt an Angel, Cat Adoption Team, Pender County Humane Society, the Sunburst Foundation, different organizations that help us, but they are overwhelmed too, so we need the public to step up and let's save some lives," Clewis said.
Brown would not release the name of the owners of the hounds, because she has not yet met with him, but she says he will likely be charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.