Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Johnny Morton 108 animals found

Zebulon, NC

Wake County

March 29, 2010  
Mary Morton 108 animals found

Zebulon, NC

Wake County

March 29, 2010  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date /Courthouse


44 dogs, 64 cats Alleged  

A North Carolina couple has been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals after Wake County Animal Control officers found more than 100 animals on their property, some living in cages and others kept in a vacant mobile home.

Johnny and Mary Morton were cited by the Wake County Sheriff’s office. They own the property at 3124 Rosinburg Road. Wake County Animal Control Director Mike Williams said his office received an anonymous tip about the animals.

  (Photo courtesy of Johnny Whitfield/Eastern Wake News)

Officials found 44 dogs on the property and 64 cats. Most of the animals were either dead or had to be euthanized. Williams said three cats have been transferred to a cat rescue operation while 12 dogs have been deemed healthy enough to put up for adoption. Eight more dogs are still being checked out.

This isn’t the first time the Wake County Animal Control office has dealt with the Mortons. Williams said officers were called to the couple’s property several years ago, but that case did not result in any civil citations or criminal charges.  “They had a large number of animals then, but not to this degree,” Williams said.

When animal control officers arrived at the home, they found some animals already dead. Those animals had been stored in containers. The living animals were found in the mobile home and inside a storage shed. Others were locked inside cages and more were tethered. Some animals were running loose. Williams said animal control officers are still trying to round up all the loose animals.

Williams said officers didn’t find any food in any of the cages, but empty cat food cans and dog food bags littered the property.  “There was a lot of trash on the site. It was trash that would fill up my office easily,” Williams said.

Williams said the animals that were euthanized suffered from a variety of problems, including behavioral and physical ailments.


Eastern Wake News