Wake Deputy Suspended for Dog Poisoning
Posted November 13, 1996
ZEBULON — After initially characterizing a fatal dog poisoning by one of his off-duty deputies an act of a "private citizen," Wake County Sheriff John Baker has suspended Richard Lambert for four days without pay.
Lambert had admitted to animal control officers that he had laced pans of hamburger with anti-freeze, which he then placed near his garbage pails. Animals are attracted to anti-freeze due to its sweet taste.
An eight-month-old dog belonging to neighbor Lisa Bailey ingested the hamburger and had to be put down when veterinarian treatment was ineffective.
Bailey has said that Lambert never spoke to her about her dog getting into his garbage.
Lambert has not spoken publicly, but his mother, Deborah, said Bailey's dogs were a nuisance in the community, and that another neighbor had complained to Bailey about the dogs not being leashed.
Lambert had called animal control in June so they could catch dogs running loose on his property, but none was able to be caught.
While harming dogs with anti-freeze could bring both criminal and civil charges, the animal control officer decided after talking with the Wake County attorney's office only to issue a civil citation, which carries a $100 fine.
In the absence of criminal charges in her pet's death, Bailey said she felt county officials were looking out after each other.
Baker said, "What (Lambert) did was wrong. None of us are above the law, so I disciplined him."
Lambert earlier had said he would pay Bailey's veterinary bills, which amount to several hundred dollars.