WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina women are accused of intentionally depriving three lizards of food and abandoning them inside a storage unit, a sheriff’s office said.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said Jamie Lee Sartin, 24, of Winston-Salem and Taylor Brianne Moore, 25, of Advance each face a charge of animal cruelty, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Workers at a storage center on the city’s north side called the sheriff’s office on Dec. 23 after they found three bearded dragons in a glass habitat while locking the storage unit for non-payment, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators determined the gate code for the unit hadn’t been used since late November, according to the sheriff’s office.
When the animals were discovered, they appeared to be breathing but were missing toes and were lethargic due to the cold temperature and possible lack of food and care, the sheriff’s office said.
One lizard died as it was being removed from the storage unit, the sheriff’s office said. A medical exam showed the other two animals to be severely emaciated and suffering from other health conditions.
The two surviving bearded dragons are recovering, although the first few days were critical as caretakers worked to stabilize them, the sheriff’s office said.