Working with Orange County Animal Services Department (OCASD), the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) executed a search warrant Friday on two properties off Alexander Drive and seized 57 dogs and puppies. The OCSO arrested one person for a felony Cruelty to Animals charge (N.C.G.S. 14-360) and swore out a warrant against a second. More charges are possible.
On October 9, 2019, Animal Control received information from two independent sources involving malnourished animals, parasitic infestations, and unsanitary conditions. Animal Control officers investigated at the residences, which they were familiar with as properties that kenneled and bred dogs. They were unable to make contact with anyone, but noted an overpowering smell of urine and feces. Upon further contact with one of the sources, a veterinarian who had recently examined some animals at the property, OCASD learned additional information supporting that the general appearance of the facility and the condition of the animals were indicative of poor husbandry.
Earlier today, officers from OCSO and OCASD served a search warrant on the property, seized 57 dogs, and arrested Taylor Doar, 35. Doar will have a first appearance in court on October 15 at 2 p.m.
Cynthia Riggan, 65, turned herself in to the Orange County Magistrate's office Friday evening and is facing a felony charge of cruelty to animals. Both Doar and Riggan will have a first appearance Tuesday at 2 p.m.
According to Bob Marotto, Animal Services Director, the dogs will be given complete medical evaluations and treated as necessary. He said, “They will be held at our facility as we go through the legal process. If they become the property of Orange County, we will take all reasonable measures to ensure the animals have long lives and are appropriately rehomed if the case is decided in our favor.”
Investigators also have a warrant for the same felony cruelty to animal charge against Doar’s mother, Cynthia Riggan, 65. She is expected to turn herself in later today.
This is an ongoing investigation. More information will be released as it becomes available.