Barbara Hart, 64, of Salisbury, faces charges after the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office searched her home earlier this week, according to an arrest warrant.
Two of the dogs were malnourished with maggots eating their hair and flesh. The other three dogs were "grossly overweight," investigators said.
The dogs are now in animal control’s custody.
Authorities said they were hit by a smell of urine, feces and the smell of some type of dead animal coming from Hart's home.
Officials said in a statement released on Friday that there was feces located all over the house, several inches thick in some places.
A garage contained several empty animal cages, but no food. There was no fresh water located in any bowl or bucket found in the back yard that the dogs had access to. The back yard appeared to be covered with animal feces, according to the arrest warrant.
Witnesses said the dogs were living in "deplorable" conditions. The seizure of the dogs from Hart's home came as the result of five years worth of complaints by neighbors, a source told WBTV.
"I'd like to see her in Hell if you don't mind that expression," said neighbor Thelma Stone, who has a cat of her own.
"She has been told several times and nothing has been done about it," Stone explained.
"How can you not half take care of them, and you're an animal lover and animal advocate and then just go down to Charlotte and just forget about them up here?" said Steve Daniels, a man who knows Hart.
"I'd like her to have her get the maximum due what she has done. Only God will have final judgment on her," Stone said.
Hart has been charged on nine counts of animal cruelty. She was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $1,500 secured bond, and has a trial date of June 12, 2017.
She had nothing to say and ducked her head away from a news camera when she was taken to the magistrate's office at around 10 a.m.