Third arrest made in Onslow County animal cruelty case

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A third person has been charged after more than 40 animals were removed from a couple’s home in May.

Chloe Elizabeth Popkin, 20, faces 43 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and two counts of felony killing an animal by starvation.

Her charged stems from an incident on May 15, when Onslow County Animal Services received an anonymous call of possible animal cruelty at 128 Forbes Estate Dr. in Jacksonville. Officers found two dead kittens inside a freezer, as well as a dead dog and another dog in convulsions that had to be euthanized on-scene.

In total, Onslow County Animal Services recovered 31 dogs, 13 cats, and one pig.

Damian Irvin and Samantha Wesche were charged in connection with the incident.

Popkin was pet sitting while the couple was out of town, according to Onslow County Animal Services.

Investigators said Irvin and Wesche left the animals unattended since May 6.

Their first court appearance was May 22, and they retained their own legal representation.

Popkin is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

“The residence did not have a properly functioning air conditioner at the time entry was made. Our officers found all animals, including the pig, in pet crates without proper food and water supplies. Several of the cats’ crates were found inside a bathroom and closets,” said OCAS Director Howard Martin in a news release.


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