Sheriff: dozens of dogs, cats, parrot, found sick and starving in Gold Hill home | Crime
SALISBURY - A Gold Hill man is facing 35 counts of cruelty to animals according to an arrest report and warrants at the Rowan County Sheriff's Department.
Troy Houston Autry was charged on Thursday, and investigators say it isn't the first time they've found disgusting conditions at the same home.
A Rowan County Animal Control Officer told WBTV that his office received a complaint about conditions at the home. When the first officer arrived, she called for help, saying the conditions were "horrendous."
"The smell was so horrendous she called for back up," the officer told WBTV. "There was feces everywhere, three, four inches thick. The animals were in kennels so small that they couldn't move, it was unbelievable."
The first to arrive at the house was Dawn Hager, a Rowan County Animal Control Officer for just six months.
"There was feces everywhere, the smell of ammonia would knock you on your bottom, roaches everywhere," Hager told WBTV. "I didn't see any dog food in bowls anywhere, two bowls of water in the kitchen, dogs in crates everywhere, nothing livable.
A woman, Peggy Bost, who was living at the home with Autry was convicted of animal cruelty in 2002 after similar conditions were discovered. At the time Bost was ordered to get rid of the animals. Bost has not been charged in this case, but still lives at the home, according to investigators.
According to the current warrants, dozens of dogs and cats, and even a parrot, were found sick and starving at Autry's single wide mobile home at 13425 Highway 52 in Gold Hill.
Many of the animals were described as having eye and skin infections. A female cocker spaniel named "Baby" was found with matted hair, heart worms, and an eye infection, according to an arrest warrant. A pregnant Boston Terrier lost her litter, and several chihuahuas were said to have been found underweight.
Hager told WBTV that many of the dogs got sick and threw up when they were brought outside of the home for the first time. The animals are now being cared for at the Rowan Animal Shelter.
A quick check of the North Carolina Department of Corrections shows that Autry has an extensive criminal record that dates back to the early 1980's, with several prison terms. Past charges in Rowan and Cabarrus Counties include several larcenies, assaults, drug possession, resisting police, trespassing, assault on a public official, and drunk driving.