State seeks custody of animals—again | North Carolina | Indy Week

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State seeks custody of animals—again

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The N.C. Attorney General's office will seek a preliminary injunction against no-kill shelter All Creatures Great and Small, while the state seeks custody of the more than 700 animals housed there. (See the Indy's previous stories, "No-kill shelters defend practices," Aug. 8 and "State seeks custody of 700 animals," Sept. 12.)

The injunction would temporarily award custody of the animals to the N.C. Department of Agriculture for evaluation. The NCDA is responsible for enforcing the state's Animal Welfare Act.

A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 25 in Henderson County District Court.

Last month, a Henderson County Superior Court judge tossed the AG's civil case against All Creatures, ruling that he didn't have jurisdiction to hear the proceedings. The state subsequently refiled the case in district court.

AG spokeswoman Noelle Talley wrote in an e-mail that the state originally filed the complaint in superior court to streamline the legal process; the AG's office had hoped one complaint would cover the dissolution of All Creatures' nonprofit and the custody of the animals. However, the state knew it might also have to file the case in district court, as the Animal Welfare Act statute usually falls under that jurisdiction, she said.

According to state documents, dozens of dogs have died from exposure, disease and mistreatment at the Hendersonville shelter. The N.C. Secretary of State has revoked All Creatures' charitable solicitations license and fined it $1,000, alleging the shelter falsified information on its application.

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