Shelby Brooke Masters, 31, of Swannanoa, faces two felony counts of killing an animal by starvation, four misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, four counts of no proof of rabies vaccination, three counts of possessing an unaltered dog without a permit, four counts of improper shelter and two counts of improper tethering, according to arrest warrants filed at the Buncombe County courthouse.
The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office received a complaint Feb. 10 about an animal cruelty case at a residence on Higdon Ridge in Swannanoa, she said.
"Upon arrival deputies located several dogs that were emaciated in appearance, and were without food and water," Bailey said. "Some of the dogs were improperly tethered and confined in filthy kennel crates. There were crates on the property that contained skeletal remains of two dogs."
Warrants allege that a boxer/pit bull mix, Blitz, and a pit bull, Scrappy, were starved from Jan. 1-31 with four pit bulls living on the property in unacceptable conditions in February.
Investigators say that pit bulls Eli and Max were deprived of necessary sustenance. Masters failed to display current rabies vaccination tag on her dogs according to a Buncombe County ordinance, and failed to provide Eli and Max with adequate shelter and clean living that is free of debris and excessive waste, according to warrants.
She was also charged with not neutering a 6-month-old brindle and white pit bull named Demon, who was also deprived of necessary care, and was not properly tethered, court documents state.
He was tied up, and became entangled, warrants state. He was unable to move about freely or have access to food, water or shelter.
Masters also had a dog named Sally Jade that was not neutered, mistreated and improperly tethered. Warrants allege that Sally Jade had a chain fastened around her neck and the chain was tied with a rope to a tree, which violates the Buncombe County ordinance.
As deputies investigated, they learned, "the occupants of the residence are rarely home, and no one had been at the residence for days," Bailey said.
The animals living outside the residence were seized by Sheriff's Office Animal Service personnel, and investigators met with Masters to walk around the residence Feb. 10, she said.
Warrants for the arrest of Masters and Wyatt were issued Feb. 20.
Masters was detained at the Buncombe County Detention Facility in lieu of $10,000 secured. She was scheduled to appear in Buncombe County District Court Wednesday.
(Citizen Times - March 8, 2017)