WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A Forsyth County Man who had nearly 80 dogs seized from him got 'around 15' of them back, according to his nephew. This is an update from a story we first brought you on Friday.
Fred Chriscoe had 79 dogs living under his roof up until Friday, when the Forsyth County Sheriffs Office executed a search warrant at the house on Old Hollow Road for animal control violations. The Sheriff's Office received an anonymous email on Tuesday, making them aware of the situation.
The Sheriff's Office collaborated with Forsyth County Animal Control and Forsyth Humane Society to take 76 dogs altogether. Fred Chriscoe was able to keep three of the dogs that were legally registered to him.
It was determined that Chriscoe was not operating a puppy mill. He was not charged with anything criminally but he did receive citations for lack of vaccinations and registrations.
On Saturday, Johnny Chriscoe, Fred's nephew, said the family met with Forsyth County Animal Shelter, Humane Society, and Furrever Friends. They had a 9 hour meeting to discuss the future care of the dozens of dogs.
"When you go in, you expect everyone’s gonna be against you, but they’re really nice people everyone just had a misunderstanding from the start there was never anything involved with breeding it's just my uncle has a big heart, if you drop off a dog he's gonna pick it up," Johnny said.
They all came up with a compromise according to Johnny Chriscoe. Fred was able to 'adopt back' about 15 of the dogs. Originally the Chriscoe family was told they adoption fee per dog could be up to $300. But in compromising - the adoption fees were waived. Instead, the Chriscoe family paid for vaccinations, tags, and microchips. Johnny said they paid around $800 dollars overall. Family members pitched in to help.
"The adoptions could’ve went up to $300 but they was real nice on keeping it short form and not trying to yank 'em up the rear and they just had us pay for vaccines and microchips and it averaged out to be anywhere from $30-$60 dollars a dog,” Johnny said.
WFMY News 2 contacted the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office to see if Fred will have to pay the approximate $1,700 dollars in citations as well. The Sheriff's Office says it is up to the Forsyth County Animal Shelter to make that decision because it's their investigation. The Sheriff's Office says they were initially involved in the investigation because Animal Control needed more resources.
Lt. David Morris with Animal Control sent this statement in regards to the citations:
"The citations issued to Mr. Chriscoe were not fines. The cost of registering an unaltered dog in Forsyth County is $25. It appears that somebody multiplied 25 x 70 and came up with that number. That reflects more of an estimate of what it would have cost Mr. Chriscoe to have registered his dogs with the county previously."
So - $800 dollars is all Fred Chriscoe will have paid.
The Humane Society offered to spay and neuter Fred's dogs for free, so he doesn't run into another issue of having more animals than he can handle. You are not required to spay and neuter your pets, but it's highly recommended. Johnny Chriscoe agrees.
"Keep in mind folks if you own 70 plus dogs you need to keep them tagged, vaccinated and rabies shots all up to date with paperwork or else they will come knocking on your door and they will want answers and you cannot blame them," Johnny said.
The Chriscoe family says Fred is happy with the compromise, because he knows his health is declining and caring for nearly 80 dogs is too much. Fred had a heart attack two weeks ago, and has also suffered a stroke before.
"To him he’s still not the happiest, but he’s better than he was," Johnny said. "He still feels like he has lost his life, he put everything he had into the dogs and it really hurt him with the community thinking what they do." Overall, Johnny said Fred is 'grieving.'
The Forsyth Humane Society says they still have 63 of Fred Chriscoe's dogs, but they are working with local and regional rescues to get them adopted out.
Johnny Chriscoe says most of the dogs Fred adopted back are disabled and/or old, because he knew they would have a harder time finding a home.