Negligent Great Dane Owner in North Carolina Is Charged With Cruelty to Animals

July 2000

PETA was contacted by several Lincoln County, North Carolina, residents about five Great Danes, acquired for the purpose of breeding, who were living in squalor in their guardian’s backyard. Reportedly, the dogs’ living area contained several inches of feces, their only food source was a few cups of food scattered on top of the feces, and they were provided with only a tarp suspended from a tree to protect them from the elements. The dogs, who were aggressive and frightened, were underweight and covered with bite wounds.

At the time, Chris Omes, the guardian, had been charged with five counts of cruelty to animals, but the animals had not been seized from his property. Shortly after PETA contacted the director of the county’s animal control agency to ask why the dogs had not been given a safe home, the dogs were placed with a local veterinarian for treatment and temporary boarding.

Unfortunately, pending his hearing, Omes was allowed to regain custody of the dogs and took them to be boarded at a kennel several hours away. But Omes apparently abandoned them, and we arranged for a Great Dane rescue organization to care for them until permanent homes could be found.

We wrote to the assistant district attorney prosecuting Omes’ case asking that he be prohibited from owning or breeding animals and forced to pay restitution to the veterinarian. He was sentenced to both of these penalties after being convicted on all five counts of cruelty to animals.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind