The owner of a Sampson County kennel has been arrested on multiple counts of animal cruelty. On October 20th, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint regarding the welfare of animals being cared for at Copper Kennel.
Animal Control officers said they visited Copper Kennel that same day and spoke with the owner Heather Stimson regarding the complaint. During the visit, the owner reportedly declined to allow Animal Control officers to view the animals under the care of Copper Kennel.
Following additional investigation, officers were able to obtain enough probable cause to obtain a search warrant for the property. On October 24th, the search warrant was executed. During the search, officers took custody of 15 canines and 2 felines. Authorities said the animals were not receiving proper care.
As a result of the search warrant and evidence located, Heather Stimson was taken into custody and charged with five counts of animal cruelty. She was later released by a magistrate on a $1,000 unsecured bond.
During the search warrant, officers noticed a large transport van, which had originally on the property, was now missing. Later, authorities received information the transport van had returned to Copper Kennel.
A second search warrant was executed and 10 additional canines, and two felines were located and seized. They reportedly showed signs of obvious neglect.
Heather Stimson was again taken into custody again and charged with two counts of animal cruelty and one count of obstructing and delaying an Investigation. Stimson was released on the additional charges on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said they seized Spanish Water Dog, Hungarian Pumi, and Lagotto Romagnolo breeds from Copper Kennel. The animals will be held pending the outcome of pending civil and criminal court proceedings.
Anyone who is in a contractual agreement for fostering animals for Copper Kennel are encouraged to contact Sergeant Jessica Byrd at 910-592-4141.