For Immediate Release:
June 28, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Windsor, N.C. – Following a complaint filed by PETA with the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, resident Cherelle M. Askew has just been charged with seven counts of cruelty to animals, stemming from her prolonged neglect of seven dogs she kept chained outdoors, at least one of whom, a young black pit bull named Minnie, died. On February 15, PETA fieldworkers found her skeletal remains—still chained—inside her doghouse. A necropsy revealed that she had died of “starvation and extreme neglect.”
Other dogs on the property—Duchess, Nala, Duke, Zeus, Sandy, and a Chihuahua named Buddy who was given to PETA in August 2021—were kept chained in filthy, deplorable conditions. PETA’s fieldworkers consistently found them and Minnie malnourished and neglected, even though they had repeatedly educated Askew about the dogs’ basic needs and provided her with free food, doghouses, flea and flystrike prevention, cable tie-outs and collars to replace heavy chains and painful choke collars, spay/neuter services, and more. After months of pleading and urging by PETA, the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office finally removed four surviving dogs: Zeus (whose ears are freshly injured and permanently disfigured from years of flystrike), Duke, Sandy, and Duchess. Nala’s status and whereabouts are unknown.
Photos of Minnie before and after her death—as well as of the other dogs chained on the property—are available here. (Warning: graphic images)
“Minnie and her yardmates languished, chained up like old bicycles in a backyard, and countless other dogs are in danger of suffering a similar fate,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging Bertie County officials to ban 24/7 tethering of dogs, which is the best way to help ensure that no other animals suffer as these dogs did.”
Every year, PETA receives reports of dead or dying dogs, many still imprisoned in pens or with heavy chains around their necks. These “outdoor dogs” often go without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care and are confined to the same few square feet of space day in and day out. Dogs suffer and die from dehydration and heatstroke in the summer and from frostbite in the winter. That’s why PETA urges everyone to keep dogs indoors and lobbies for animal protection laws such as North Carolina’s HB 1116 (Fiona Mae Wagglebottom’s Act), which would prohibit keeping dogs tethered outside during extreme weather, including when temperatures are below 32 or above 85 degrees.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.