Local News

Cruelty charges dropped against Wilson dog breeders

Posted September 19, 2012

— Animal cruelty charges were dismissed Tuesday against a Wilson couple who had more than two dozen large-breed dogs removed from their property last month.

Wilson County deputies and three animal welfare groups removed 28 Great Danes, Mastiffs and Dobermans from outdoor kennels behind a mobile home on Evansdale Road on Aug. 23, and breeders Cyndi and Joe Williams were each charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty.

A judge dismissed the charges after ruling the search of the property was improper, according to Calley Gerber, an attorney for Great Dane Rescue Alliance, which has filed a civil suit against the Williamses.

Court filings show a Wilson County deputy had been working with the Williamses since 2009 to improve conditions at their kennel and that the couple surrendered six other dogs in poor condition to county animal control in July. The deputy didn't find any criminal wrongdoing at the kennel in July but used the surrender of the dogs as probable cause for the August raid, according to documents.

Sixteen of the seized dogs were sent to the SPCA of Wake County and the other 12 to the Great Dane Rescue Alliance.

Great Dane Rescue Alliance is using the civil suit to gain custody of all 28 dogs and any offspring so they can be put up for adoption, as well as a court order prohibiting the Williamses from acquiring any more dogs.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Sep 21, 2012

    So the judge-bashers here think that the police don't need to follow the law? ...of illegal search and seizure? ...a Constitutional protection? Really?

    @roberthpeter, are you saying that a "conservative" judge would better if he ignored our Constitution?

  • eye10west Sep 21, 2012

    I agree with WayneBoyd the shelters should pay full market price for any dogs they keep. The dogs were taken illegally and it was admitted that the dogs were fine and they took them just because. You people were not there and yet you have a mob attitude that you are judge and jury. Most people that raise dogs are NOT abusers! If shelters are allowed to steal dogs and sell them we are all in trouble.

  • Rebelyell55 Sep 19, 2012

    Don't know what people are talking about, most case are find quilty. So this just maybe one of those overzealous cases that been in the new lately. That some are not using good judgement and believing the sensationalism of the media.

  • Brogden Sep 19, 2012

    WRAL - why not name the judge so Wilson County voters will know who to hold responsible for this terrible ruling?

  • roberthpeter Sep 19, 2012

    Another liberal judge lets terrible people off the hook.

  • gallbury Sep 19, 2012

    This judge needs to be dis-barred and forced to live in the filthy cages the animals had to endure! These poor animals, unlike people, can't speak for themselves, depending entirely upon humans for their welfare and safety. Now some judge has seen fit to reinstate these "puppy mill" prostitutes, and before you know it they will be back in business again, making money on the fragile backs of sick and abused animals.

  • wayneboyd Sep 19, 2012

    If the charges are dropped the Williamses the county should either return his animals or pay them full market price for them

  • bkahuna Sep 19, 2012

    NC will never protect dogs, but they will bend over backwards to protect puppy mill owners and dog fighters.

  • shakennotstirred Sep 19, 2012

    Intentionally making an animal suffer is just as sick as hurting a human being. I know the 2 are not equal, but the pain, suffering and fear are. How can a sensible/sane human being do such a thing? Nauseating...

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Sep 19, 2012

    I think news stories like this help people realize that they, themselves, have some control over the pain, suffering and death of animals.

    We all choose to either increase or reduce animal cruelty in this world every time we sit down at the table to eat.