American Humane Applauds Guilty Verdict in North Carolina Animal Cruelty Case

American Humane Association
Wednesday, 9 July 2003

American Humane applauds the announcement of a guilty verdict of animal cruelty for Naomi Delores Perez, a 77-year-old woman accused of keeping more than 250 dogs, two kittens, and a parrot in horrendous conditions in her Union, North Carolina, home. Perez reportedly was breeding the dogs in her home, selling some of them for as much as $400.

As reported by the Charlotte Observer, Perez received the maximum penalty allowed and faces at least $47,000 in fines and restitution. In addition, she was banned from ever owning animals again.

"American Humane is pleased that Perez was found guilty of animal cruelty and has been banned from having any animals," says Jodi Lytle Buckman, American Humane's director of shelter services. "The larger message here, however, is that people who are looking for a new pet need to do their research."

There are many questions people should consider before purchasing a pet from a breeder or pet store:

  • Is the breeder responsible?

  • Are the parents of the animal healthy and free of congenital health concerns associated with that breed?

  • Are referrals available from other people who have purchased from the breeder? Is a reference available from the breeder's veterinarian?

  • Are the animals being bred for commercial gain or for an interest and passion for that particular breed?
  • These questions can get even more complex when buying from a pet store since often the buyer does not have direct access to the breeder and therefore has no idea how the animal was raised.

    American Humane encourages people who want a purebred animal to check their local shelters or breed placement groups first. A surprising number of purebred animals are available at local animal shelters. Breed placement groups are typically organized by private citizens specializing in the care and placement of particular breeds. In many communities, breed placement groups partner with animal welfare agencies to find great homes for purebred pets. Adopters can also use the Internet and services like Petfinder and Pets911 to search for available pets without even leaving their homes.

    For more information, or to contact American Humane Association, see their website at:

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