Man sought after dogs found dead in Fayetteville home
Posted February 13, 2015
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cumberland County authorities were searching Friday for a Fayetteville man accused of allowing six dogs to starve to death in his home.
Concerned neighbors called Cumberland County Animal Control on Jan. 27, saying Richard Walter had left home weeks earlier to visit his partner at Duke University Medical Center and never returned.
Animal Control officers found six of eight dogs in the Bridgeview Drive home were dead, and necropsies determined they were dehydrated and starved to death. Some tried to survive by chewing wooden furniture or eating the carcasses of animals that had already died, authorities said.
The two surviving dogs, a cocker spaniel and a pit bull mix, were in extremely poor health and are now under the care of Animal Control.
Lt. Elaine Smith of Animal Control said the dogs that died were locked in the house's sunroom, while the other two were able to roam around the rest of the house.
"They had more resources as far as trash and other edible items that they could get to to keep themselves alive, and some water," Smith said.
The cocker spaniel is headed to a rescue center on Saturday to begin the process of finding a new home, she said.
Walter, 51, faces eight counts of felony cruelty to animals. Authorities said they have been able to contact him by phone, so they know he wasn't hurt and unable to care for the dogs, but they said he has been uncooperative.
He is described as white, about 6 feet tall, between 180 and 200 pounds with blue eyes and graying brown hair.
Anyone who knows Walter's whereabouts or had information about the case is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.