Neighbors Claim Illegal Puppy Mill Was Being Operated For Years
Editors Note: JoCoReport.com does not publish photos and videos that are considered to be graphic or disturbing. With this story, we are making an exception to our policy in hopes of bringing light to alleged animal abuse and neglect in Johnston County. We must warn you the photos and videos are extremely graphic and could be disturbing and upsetting to viewers. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
FOUR OAKS – Neighbors say they have been complaining for months about an alleged puppy mill in southern Johnston County. Finally, after repeated phone calls to Johnston County Animal Services an arrest has been made, however the suspect is only facing a single misdemeanor charge. Concerned citizens who live nearby say that is not enough. They have turned over photos and videos taken of the alleged puppy mill, that reportedly shows numerous dogs being neglected. Some of the pictures are very graphic and disturbing to view.
Animal Services has charged 62 year-old Bobby Gene Barbour of Mulberry Road with neglecting a brown pit bull terrier named Hank. Hank was one of numerous dogs found on Mulberry Road. Hank’s collar had grown into his neck. He showed signs of malnourishment and neglect. Hank was one of the lucky ones. He was seized by animal control and is being given proper nutrition and treatment for his wounds.
Two additional dogs on the property were voluntary surrendered. At least one other dog is shown in a video dead. How the dog died is not known.
On Monday, animal control officials said there were several more dogs on the Mulberry Road property but the exact number they said was unknown. On Tuesday, neighbors said the dogs – females and puppies – were gone. They were not taken by animal control.
According to a nearby resident, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of possible retaliation from Barbour, concerned neighbors had been feeding many of the dogs on Barbour’s property for months. They claim the dogs were left alone for days at a time with no food, water or shelter. They said it all started around 2015 when Barbour was allowed to move into a camper on the property. A short time later, dogs started appearing. At least one person was bitten. Law enforcement was called but no action was ever taken.
The neighbor said Johnston County Animal Services and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office have previously been called about the alleged neglect but nothing was ever done until last week when Barbour was arrested on a misdemeanor charge.
In January, a concerned neighbor made a video when daytimes highs were near freezing. The video shows several dogs tied up on short chains without food and shelter. Another video shows a dog dead in a kennel. They claim all photos and dogs are from Barbour’s property.
Click Here To Watch Home Video Taken In January 2018 By Concerned Neighbors – Warning: Content May Be Disturbing
One concerned citizen said they saw 3 dogs apparently trapped inside an old bus at the site. When they opened the bus door the 3 dogs came running out. They didn’t know how long the dogs had been trapped inside. Conditions inside were horrific according to a video obtained by JoCoReport.com.
Neighbors we spoke with say that someone needs to stand up for the animals or no one else will.
“Most people turn their heads to animal and child abuse because they are afraid to speak up, or know that there’s a good chance nothing will be done. That’s why concerned citizens give up,” one neighbor told us, also asking to remain anonymous.
In an email from a nearby resident, “(He) will probably get nothing but probation for the animal cruelty charge…. but when he tries to sell another puppy, now people will know the filthy conditions that those puppies and the dogs are living in! I’m not going to stop until this county BANS all these backyard breeders… There’s NO excuse!”
As of Wednesday morning, Barbour was still being held in the Johnston County Jail under a $150,000 bond on a single misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. Animal control officials said the charge does not rise to the level of a felony, however they say the investigation is still ongoing.