Charged With Cruelty: Man Caught With Skeletal, Dying, and Dead Dogs in Backyard

PETA Fieldworkers Found Emaciated Animals, Group Says Gross Negligence Points to Need for Countywide Ban on Tethering Dogs

For Immediate Release:
November 16, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Hollister, N.C. – On Tuesday, November 1, two PETA fieldworkers were delivering free straw bedding to dogs in Halifax County when they made a horrifying discovery at a property on Medoc Mountain Road in Hollister: three deceased, skeletal dogs—one confined to a dark wood-and-wire box, another chained to a plastic doghouse, and a third whose decomposed remains were found later in a garbage can—and five surviving dogs in urgent need of medical attention, including three who were emaciated. PETA worked with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office and Animal Control to remove the dogs from the property. Photos of them are available here.

A preliminary necropsy report of the three deceased dogs revealed starvation and dehydration as the cause of death. Of the five survivors, three were severely emaciated and none had access to food or water. One had been kept inside a tiny box, resulting in severely atrophied muscles. Four of them were fostered by PETA, and after spending several days at the group’s shelter and receiving medical attention, they were transferred to the Virginia Beach SPCA, where they will receive further rehabilitation. Authorities have charged the owner of the animals—Corques Lamar Johnson—with six counts of cruelty to animals. His arraignment is scheduled for November 29.

“These forgotten dogs suffered and died slowly and wasted away helplessly, deprived of the basic necessities of life,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “This tragedy serves as a reminder that countless other dogs in Halifax County are still chained up and suffering. PETA urges Halifax County to follow the lead of Enfield, Roanoke Rapids, Scotland Neck, and Weldon by banning 24/7 tethering of dogs.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that dogs who are chained outdoors spend their entire lives eating, sleeping, and eliminating in the same few square feet of space. Chaining dogs deprives them of the social interaction that they need as pack animals, which can make them aggressive—and nearly three times as likely to attack.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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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