Emporia Father, Daughter Who Fatally Neglected Dog Convicted and Sentenced

Perpetrators Banned From Owning Animals After PETA Staffers Find Chained Dog With Collar Grown Into Her Neck

For Immediate Release:
November 5, 2014

Alexis Sadoti 202-483-7382

Emporia, Va. – Emporia residents Calvin Artis and Stephanie Battle, a father and daughter,  have each been sentenced to 12 months in jail, two years of probation, and a lifelong ban on owning companion animals for chaining their dog, Peaches, to a makeshift doghouse and allowing a wire collar to eat 1.5 inches into her neck, causing a putrid and painful infection. (Photos of Peaches’ condition are available upon request.) Battle, who pleaded guilty, will serve the three months that remain of her jail term on weekends. Artis pleaded not guilty—six months of his term remain.

When the PETA staffers encountered Peaches in March, she was chained in the backyard with no food or water in 36-degree weather and had a severe neck injury that Artis and Battle confirmed they had been aware of. The pair relinquished the dog to the PETA staffers, who had her examined by a veterinarian. The vet concluded that the infection had progressed too far to save Peaches, who had to be euthanized.

“While the court’s decision sends an important message about the consequences of chaining animals, this woman and her father can never undo the suffering that they inflicted on this lonely, injured dog,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA hopes this case will serve as a reminder to all kind people to report abuse or neglect when they see it.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—works with lawmakers in Virginia and North Carolina to enact laws that ban or severely restrict the continuous chaining of dogs. Cities in Virginia with such laws on the books include Hampton, Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Danville, Portsmouth, Smithfield, and Staunton, among others.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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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