Two people are facing multiple animal cruelty charges after authorities removed 17 dogs and a bearded dragon from their home in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Authorities say they found the pets living in "squalid, unsanitary conditions" in the Lovettsville home of Jackie Howard Payne Jr., 55, and Tia Marie Reid, 31, earlier this month.
"The scene was very troubling," said Loudoun County Animal Services Chief of Animal Control Chris Brosan in a release. "Every surface accessible to the dogs was covered in urine, feces and waste; they literally had nowhere to go to get out of their own mess."
Loudoun County Sheriff's deputies discovered the conditions July 2 while at the home for an unrelated incident. They alerted Animal Services, who responded the same day.
The pets were taken into custody and brought to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter. A court awarded the animals to the county on July 10, freeing them for adoption, and most have already been adopted, authorities said. Anyone interested in adopting any of the remaining animals or other pets, or fostering, should visit loudoun.gov/animals.
Payne and Reid were arrested July 12. Payne is facing 14 counts of animal cruelty; Reid is facing four counts.
They are both free on bond and are scheduled to appear in court Sept. 4. If convicted, they face up to one year in jail for each count and a fine of up to $2,500 for each count.