LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Loudoun County Animal Services took more than 100 animals into its care after humane law enforcement officers said they found a home used as part of animal rescue in terrible conditions.

Loudoun County said after a months-long investigation, three people who worked as part of Luck of the Irish Animal Rescue in Round Hill face more than a dozen charges.

The investigation into the rescue began in February 2023 after an unrelated service call to the home of Kimberly Hall, 51, one of the staff members facing charges.

When law enforcement officers went to Hall’s home, they saw a large number of animals living in terrible conditions. They contacted Loudoun County Animal Services (LCAS). Humane law enforcement officers came to the home and found 42 animals that were living in conditions that threatened their health and safety. In all, LCAS took custody of 102 dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals.

Conditions found in one of the homes searched by Loudoun Humane Law Enforcement Officers as part of the animal cruelty investigation. (Loudoun County Animal Services Director)

Investigators said Hall’s home, which served as a site from which the animal rescue operated, was covered with feces and urine. Most of the animals were confined to crates that were stacked on top of each other. Many animals need veterinary care.

In addition to Kimberly Hall, Nicole Metz, 50, and Alex Hall, 22, face charges related to the operation of the rescue. Investigators said Metz was the executive director of Luck of the Irish Animal Rescue, formally known as Paw & Hoof Animal Rescue. Alex Hall served as its operations director and used to be its marketing director. 

The rescue was dissolved in April 2023.

“This case is particularly disturbing because the individuals involved are the very people who were entrusted by overwhelmed pet owners and rural shelters to  look out for the welfare of animals,” Chief of Humane Law Enforcement Chris Brosan stated in a news release. “Our investigation shows that they knowingly kept the animals in filthy conditions and allowed their health to suffer, while continuing to acquire more animals.”

Metz was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, two counts of failure to obtain veterinary certificate inspections, allowing sick animals to roam and obstruction of justice. Kimberly Hall was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty and two counts of failure to squire veterinary inspection certificates, and Alex Hall was charged with eight counts of animal cruelty.

Along with their charges, Kimberly Hall and Metz allegedly brought animals into Virginia without required documentation.

The investigation found text messages between Kimberly Hall, Metz and other staff members bringing in animals, indicating that a number of cats being brought to Northern Virginia included cats with contagious diseases and dogs that attacked or killed other dogs, from shelters out of state. The group supposedly claimed the animals were strays found in local communities.

The messages prompted a search for the location of about 100 additional animals. Some are presumed to be buried in the group members’ backyards, based on the text messages and search warrants executed by officers.