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Officer Accused of Burying Puppies Leaves Force

Posted October 26, 2007

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— A Fayetteville police officer accused of burying puppies alive left the police department this week, police said.

John Leggett, 44, was issued nine civil citations of animal cruelty last month by Cumberland County Animal Control, and authorities were investigating to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

Animal control officers were called to a home in the woods about three miles from the Bladen County line last month to respond to a report that puppies had been buried alive.

Two coonhound puppies were found dead at the property – authorities haven't said how they died – and another seven 1-week-old coonhound puppies, along with their mother, were seized and placed in the care of animal control.

Leggett, a patrol officer since 2002, was placed on administrative duty, pending investigations by the Fayetteville Police Department and Cumberland County Animal Control, authorities said.

He left the department this week, but police declined to say whether he resigned or was fired.