LEXINGTON, NC - A Lexington couple has been charged with animal cruelty and child abuse after a tip from a neighbor led police to find poor living conditions at the couple’s home.
Investigators seized three dogs from a house on Hargrave Street Monday night.
According to Lt. Davis with the Lexington Police Department, Wesley and Rayne Stevenson turned themselves in Tuesday night.
WARNING: SOME PHOTOS MAY BE GRAPHIC
Dogs Found Abused, Malnourished at Lexington Home
On Monday, officers issued a search warrant for the couple’s house after receiving a tip from a neighbor about the conditions of the dogs.
All three dogs were taken to the Davidson County Animal Shelter on Monday evening.
Mindy Faircloth and volunteers with the Davidson County Animal Alliance were called in to help take care of the animals.
Two dogs named Sky and Karma were found inside the house in metal cages, dirty and badly malnourished, according to Davis.
"They were in crates that was just covered in their own urine and feces," said Faircloth. "Once they got a bath yesterday, we are going to have to bathe them several more times before we are able to get all the dirt off of them."
A third dog named Tank was chained up outside without food, water, or care.
Davis says the dog that was left outside was so malnourished, it began to eat its own tail.
Ultimately, Tank had to be euthanized because he was in such bad shape.
"Tank was absolutely pitiful. He was nothing but skin and bones," said Faircloth. "He couldn't stand on his own and wouldn't hold his head up. As the vet said, he was giving up. His spirit was broken and he was ready to die."
Wesley and Rayne Stevenson have each been charged with one count of felony cruelty to animals and one count of misdemeanor child abuse for allowing a child to living in unsanitary conditions.
"These dogs needed food," said Faircloth. "If you cannot afford food for your animal, there are rescues and there are shelters that can help you get food."
The Davidson County Animal Alliance is working to get Sky and Karma back to full strength and ready for adoption.
"We are looking for foster homes to take these dogs in so that we can get them healthy again. We will go ahead and get them spayed and then we can adopt them out to loving homes," said Faircloth.
As for the child found inside the house, Davidson County Child Protective Services has launched its own investigation of child abuse.
DSS says the child was not taken away from the home.
Wesley and Rayne Stevenson were released on a written promise to appear in court on January 8.