BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Four dogs were found dead and 18 were removed from a shelter in Burlington, according to a release from the Alamance County Sheriff's Office.

Randy Jones, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, says the dogs were removed from Brewers Kennel on Union Ridge Road after a complaint about possible animal abuse on Saturday.

Jones says animal control officers have made several visits to the business in the past two weeks, but no evidence of abuse was ever found. He says the kennel is a target of criticism on social media.

Investigators don't know the cause of death for the dogs at this time. They say the dogs did not appear to be abnormally thin, and there were no obvious signs of physical trauma.

A necropsy will be done in Raleigh to determine how the dogs died.

The 18 dogs that were seized have been placed in various shelters.

The sheriff's office says the Alamance County District Attorney has been contacted about possible criminal charges.

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