Rockingham Co Chokepoles Tiny Dogs from Home, Crams Them into Cages at Pound

On Thursday, Rockingham County ACOs chokepoled dozens of tiny pets from a home in Stoneville, NC:

In this screengrab from WGHP, a toy breed dog is dragged by a metal noose on the end of a steel pole by an ACO.
In this screengrab from WGHP, an ACO drags a toy breed dog in a metal noose on the end of a steel pole.
In this screengrab from WGHP, a toy breed dog is dragged by a metal noose on the end of a steel pole by an ACO.
In this screengrab from WGHP, an ACO drags a toy breed dog in a metal noose on the end of a steel pole.

The local FOX affiliate reports that an elderly couple lived in the home and that the woman apparently threatened to commit suicide while ACOs were dragging her dogs away. She was sent to the hospital and later released. On Friday, the wife was charged with one count of animal cruelty and the district attorney is considering charging her with abuse of her immobile husband as well.

The home environment is being described as a hoarding situation although it’s not at all clear to me whether that characterization is accurate or whether the animals are now better off:

“Twenty-nine dogs, 18 birds, six cats and four horses and one donkey that we brought back to the shelter,” Kevin Baughn, Rockingham County Animal Shelter director said.


“As they approached the residence, there was a strong odor, smell, stench,” Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said. “Feces all over the house.”

Officials said it does not appear the animals were physically abused but lived in extremely unsanitary conditions.

The animals were covered in layers of filth.


“I think the people in their heart think they’re doing good for the animals, but a lot of times the animals wind up suffering,” Baughn said.


The shelter was already operating at full capacity, and now these dogs, cats and birds are crammed into cages and four miniature horses and a donkey are corralled outside, all to await further medical examination.

The “shelter” where these dogs are now crammed into cages is little more than a pet killing facility.  In 2012, Rockingham Co killed 72% of the dogs and cats in its care.

Portion of the state of NC 2012 shelter report showing Rockingham County
Portion of the state of NC 2012 shelter report showing Rockingham County

The Fox affiliate states the the Guilford Co pound “will assist in efforts to house the animals” although it’s unclear to me if that will happen.  If it does, it means the animals will be sent from one pet killing facility to another.  The Guilford Co pound killed 51% of its dogs and cats in 2012.  The pound has a policy dictating death for all Rottweilers, Pitbulls and Chows, regardless of health or temperament.  The non-profit that runs the pound also kills dogs whom rescues are willing to take and then attempts to cover it up by claiming to be exempt from public records requests.  The Humane Society of the United States rates the pet killing facility as a top emergency placement partner.

Portion of the state of NC 2012 shelter report showing Guilford County
Portion of the state of NC 2012 shelter report showing Guilford County

Winners here, anyone?

(Thanks Lisa for sending me this story.)

18 thoughts on “Rockingham Co Chokepoles Tiny Dogs from Home, Crams Them into Cages at Pound

  1. I saw this last night on TV and I cried!! The outside of this home was well kept.. the fat SOB that had that tiny little thing with a wire choke pole on it spouted off some sort of crap that you could smell the place when you got out of your vehicle.. So what. the place just needed cleaning up,. The lady is there alone with her immobile husband and probably can’t do it all,. Someone needs to step up and get this poor woman some help. I’m sure she thought that she was helping these animals and it got out of hand. I live not far from Rockingham County, NC, just across the NC/VA border. and this is not the only so called shelter in this area that just loves to KILL animals! I get so tired of seeing it in the news every other day where the police have shot someone’s pet just pretty much for the hell of it.. or they are taking someone’s beloved pet because it’s a Pitt Bull or a Rotweiler or a Chow.. even sometimes a Doberman or two,.,. North Carolina needs to heed it’s OWN law against animal cruelty.. just a year or two ago they passed a law that it was a FELONY to cause harm to any animal. (with the exception of the ones on the “game” list). It’s a mandatory jail term plus huge fines. When a man as large as this has to use a wire choke pole just to pick up a tiny little what looked to be a papillon, they should be held just as accountable as anyone else and be charged just the same. North Carolina needs to wake the hell up and DO something about all this senseless KILLING!! They’re getting to be just about as bad as the New York pounds and shelters.. and they are nothing BUT killing fields!! I for one, am ASHAMED of them! They can do better and SHOULD do better!

    1. How close are you to me? I’m in Yanceyville. I also saw the news on WXII. I would love to hear more about these pictures and even talk to whoever took them. I dogs didn’t look that bad at the shelter. Like you said, The lady needed some help..shoot, if I had a car, I would volunteer to help with grooming, even picking up dog poop and scrubbing floors. And the husband is a disabled VETERAN? What is wrong in this picture…? Someone/WE should be helping him!

      1. Dot, exactly what I said,. and they are thinking about charging her with cruelty to her husband? My God what are they thinking! She’s an old lady! She only needs HELP. Yanceyville, I’m not real sure how far it is from me. I’ll have to look at a map to see for sure, but I’m in Stuart, Virginia.. and go to Eden now and then, used to go alot before I became pretty much totally disabled myself. My Mother’s family was from around that area in NC. I had several family members that lived around there also. Aunts, Uncles etc.. so I know the area very well. But this is simply unacceptable behavior by the ACO’s.. plain and simple. I also have my father living here with us and have to look after him as well as myself, but I do have a wonderful husband that does everything he can to help so I do have at least someone to talk to and someone that does most of the cooking and cleaning as he can. I imagine she does not,. This alone would drive anyone to a suicidal point after a while. I’m thinking the poor lady does have some mental health issues and the animals gave her some sort of comfort, but that was entirely too many animals for her to care for. And since this man is a Veteran, as am I, I know for a fact that THEY will send in help to care for him. I imagine no one ever bothered to tell her. All I can do is pray for her and pray that the animals get the love and care they deserve and NOT be murdered. I’m sure you know these counties in NC have a bad reputation for doing just that. Killing instead of trying to place them. I am going to try and keep up with this issue and see how things go before I try and get involved since I do live in another state and they would most likely either laugh me out or have me escorted out of the state! All I know for sure is THIS IS WRONG! The lady needs HELP, not CHARGES placed against her! I also imagine that her husband is a huge handful in itself to care for. I know my Father sure is. Please keep me posted if you find out anything. I’d be more than happy to help clean if I could, but for me, it’s impossible. I just hope someone steps up and tries to help the lady. I would LOVE to help but like I said, for me, it’s simply something I can’t physically do.

      2. thanks for the reply. I’m located just south of Danville, VA. We’re some distance apart. With no car, I’m not much help. All I can do is share.
        The news report said that the dogs were in pretty good shape and most would be up for adoption right away. It sounded like the vet didn’t get to examine all the dogs before this story hit the news. And since this is what the shelter has reported about the dogs, there is no excuse for using the choke pole on any of the dogs.
        thank you carlapage54 for reporting this. Got a link? I’ll send a complaint also.

  2. Winners? How can you ask? There’s fund raising gold in them there “rescues”! On the serious side, I would be interested in what the actual abuse was supposed to be or if the woman simply needed help with upkeep and cleaning or maybe mental health help. And I can understand her feeling suicidal at that point, if someone dragged one of my dogs around like that I’d be threatening homicide though.

    1. You and me both, vida! If someone like that fat SOB as much as even THOUGHT about touching my dog to remove her from me, I’d be loading the shotgun!!

  3. Oh, so they want to charge the woman with abuse while abusing these wee little dogs themselves? Guess when you’re ACO you get to do that sort of thing. Again, it does sound as if this woman needed help, not this kind of stuff.

  4. There’s another aspect to this, too. Thing is … there’s no mention I can see of any home health care workers. So, it’s possible Mrs. Mabe was the only caregiver for her husband, who – from the scant descriptions provided – would appear to be significantly disabled and unable to care for himself.

    I speak here from experience: caregiving to a disabled elderly adult is very hard, even with help.

    I hope we get the truth of this, some day. Myself, I’m thinking … even if Mrs Mabe is a hoarder, this was handled about as badly as it’s possible to do.

  5. They always claim that there is a strong smell but never take along ammonia meters to measure it accurately. Strange that, because they never fail to take photos or video footage.


  7. Again with an ACO who has no idea how to properly use a “rabies pole”.

    The animal is supposed to be in FRONT of you, being pushed with the pole. The animal is, at no time, to be dragged by the pole. Ever.

    This is clearly abusive incompetence.

    1. my5yr old pit bull Zeus was murdered by the commerce city police 3 of their officers and 3 choke poles for what seemed like forever..they say he was aggressive I say he was. Terrified and scared please help me fight for zeus’ s right to be heard they need to know when its just enough thank you sue tackett

  8. One little trick I learned from watching Cesar Millan’s TV show – hand off these scared little dogs backwards so that they don’t see they are being handed off. Of course that only works for people who look at scared toy breed dogs and think, “How can I move you without scaring you further?” which obviously no one at Rockingham Co does.

  9. from the very crappy pic in the article the wee tiny little dog looked pretty clean to be living in the conditions stated in the article! Me thinks it was another WRONG and possibly ILLEGAL raid so that the receiving “rescue” could make mega bucks off of the animals. Tiny dogs and minis bring a pretty penny! My heart goes out to the couple that was raided. Can’t blame the woman for wanting to commit suicide ( Me I would be killing a few ACOS)

  10. The wrong people were obviously called out! They abused the animals to save them from abuse? That’s pretty messed up and I hope charges are filed against these bastards! They judge and look down on others without looking at themselves!

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