- Special Sections
- Public Notices
HILLSVILLE — Carroll County authorities report that 43 dogs with highly contagious cases of mange have been seized and euthanized.
A court order issued by Judge E.M. Turner III on Oct. 1 authorized Animal Control Officer Terry Woods to enter two properties in Fancy Gap to take action needed to keep the disease from spreading and to spare the dogs from further suffering.
The properties on Elk Spur Road are owned by brother and sister George Daniel Rigney, 76, and Ruth R. Robertson, 74.
Each faces charges of cruelty to animals. According to court records, Rigney has four such charges against him and Robertson had two.
Turner’s order allowed Woods to visit the properties in order to collect, triage and treat the dogs in question, including euthanasia, if necessary.
“It is hereby found that this immediate action is necessary to protect the public from the risk of contagious disease and to alleviate the suffering of the animals,” the judge’s order said.
It was found that the disease that the dogs had was contagious and could have spread to humans, said Greg Goad, Carroll’s commonwealth’s attorney.
The dogs were not sociable, nor were they kept contained on the property, he said.
So county officials went to Fancy Gap with two veterinarians, Goad said. As a result of what they found, they euthanized 43 dogs.
There were five other dogs that Rigney was allowed to keep, and eight that Robertson was allowed to keep, Goad said. Another three went to the regional animal shelter in Galax.
The brother and sister have been cooperative with authorities, Goad said.
Both also face a couple of charges of dogs that have no rabies vaccinations and no county dog license, Goad added.
“With the situation we had that they were contagious, we had to take action,” Goad said.
Authorities were alerted to the situation by a phone call.
All charges the two face are misdemeanors. They are pending hearings in Carroll General District Court.