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Gold Hill woman faces 35 animal cruelty charges

GOLD HILL — Authorities have charged a Gold Hill woman with 35 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, nearly a month after charging her live-in companion with the same offenses.
Authorities say the two failed to feed and properly care for dogs, kittens and a parrot at their mobile home in the 13000 block of N.C. 52.
Peggy Earnhardt Bost, 64, was served with a criminal summons Friday after a complaint from Rowan County Animal Control. Her companion, Troy Houston Autry, 49, was issued a summons Feb. 21.
Bost and Autry are scheduled to appear in district court on April 2, according to court records.
Animal Control officials said in February there were 42 animals at the Gold Hill property. Autry surrendered seven animals to officers before they removed the rest from the property.
Authorities said the home was in an unsanitary condition. An animal control supervisor said in February the floor was soaked with urine and covered in animal feces. Autry and Bost deny those claims.
Autry admits some of the animals were sick. Some had skin conditions, but he was using medication, he said.
Animal Control officials said many of the animals were sick, some were underweight and some had skin conditions.
The animals remain at the Rowan County Animal Shelter.
It’s not the first time Bost has been charged with crimes involving animals.
Nearly 10 years ago, law enforcement officials investigated Bost for alleged animal cruelty. In 2002, Bost was convicted on multiple charges of mistreating animals. Many of those animals were dogs. She was again charged with animal cruelty in March 2003, while on probation.
Bost said she feels targeted “ever since they got me for animal cruelty.”
But she’s not sure why she was charged with the recent offenses, she said.
“The dogs belong to Troy,” she said.
Autry said not all of the dogs belonged to him. He was trying to find homes for many of them, he said.
Autry said he regrets surrendering seven dogs to Animal Control officers.
“I should’ve kept them and taken them to the veterinarian,” he said.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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