Dead cats, maggot ridden dogs seized from Salisbury home, owner charged

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SALISBURY, NC (FOX 46) -- A Rowan County woman is facing charges of animal cruelty after police removed several dead and malnourished animals from her Salisbury home.

Barbara Hart, 64, of Salisbury was arrested at her home Friday morning after authorities seized her animals following a search on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, according to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff's Office tell FOX 46 Charlotte that they seized five dogs from 908 Lincolnton Road. Two of the dogs were malnourished with maggots eating their hair and flesh. The other three dogs were "grossly overweight," investigators said.

"I'd like to see her in Hell if you don't mind that expression," Thelma Stone said, a neighbor. 

According to the arrest warrant, three dead, decaying cats were found behind the living room couch. A cat skull was also located under a bed.

Authorities said they were hit by a smell of urine, feces and the smell of some type of dead animal coming from Hart's home. A garage contained several empty animal cages, but no food. There was no fresh water located in any bowl or bucket found in the back yard that the dogs had access to. The back yard appeared to be covered with animal feces, according to the arrest warrant.

"She has been told several times and nothing has been done about it," Stone explained.

"How can you not half take care of them, and you're an animal lover and animal advocate and then just go down to Charlotte and just forget about them up here?" said Steve Daniels, a man who knows Hart.

"I'd like her to have her get the maximum due what she has done. Only God will have final judgment on her," Stone said.

The dogs were inspected by a Rowan County Animal Control veterinarian. All of the animals are in the custody of Animal Control. 

Hart has been charged on nine counts of animal cruelty. She was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $1,500 secured bond, and has a trial date of June 12, 2017.