2 charged in Rutherford animal abuse, death

Barbara Pruett King (left) and Erica Shea McMahan (right)

FOREST CITY, NC – Two Forest City women were charged after Rutherford County deputies and Animal Control performing a civil seizure found them responsible for the abuse and death of numerous animals on their property, according to reports.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office charged 54-year-old Barbara Pruett King of Forest City with two counts of felony killing of an animal by starvation, one count disposition of dead domesticated animal, 18 counts of cruelty to animals and one count of resisting a public officer.

Also charged was 37-year-old Erica Shea McMahan of Forest City with two counts of felony killing of an animal by starvation and 18 counts of cruelty to animals.

In an unrelated matter, King was additionally charged with one count of misdemeanor aiding and abetting from a prior incident which occurred in Forest City.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Monday, deputies with the Rutherford Sheriff’s Office, along with Rutherford County Animal Control Services, responded out to 479 Freeman Road in Forest City in reference to serving a civil seizure order for animals.

This is a result of a combined investigation between the Sheriff’s Office and Rutherford County Animal Control Services.

Among the animals seized from the property included 32 dogs, 32 cats, two roosters, three chickens and one pig. All the animals were transported to the Rutherford County Animal Shelter, where they were evaluated and any of the animals that were in need of immediate veterinary care were cared for.

The seized animals will be in the care of the Rutherford County Animal Shelter until a hearing is scheduled.

King and McMahan had their first appearance on Tuesday in Rutherford County District Court. King’s bond was set at $20,000. McMahan’s bond was set at $15,000.

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