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Cary man accused of animal torture

Posted October 14, 2008
Updated November 9, 2009

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Editor's Note: Charles Becker was found not guilty of all charges at a trial in October 2009.

A Cary man is accused of torturing and tormenting his pets. The investigation began after a concerned neighbor called authorities.

Jack Keller is an animal lover. So when his neighbor's pets started showing signs of neglect, he says he called police.

“The rabbit cage, it had rabbit poop about 6 inches deep and the rabbit was just living on it,” Keller said.

Animal Control officials came to investigate the home on Sturdivant Drive in July.

According to a search warrant, investigators found 40 animals in the home. In a single room, there were 28 animals of different species living together.

Investigators described the conditions as "unsanitary" – with feces and urine throughout the house.

Owner Charles Becker was ordered to take some of the animals to a veterinarian, according to the search warrant. However, the animals were left in Becker's care.

“I gave up on calling the police anymore because the last time they came it didn't appear anything had happened. None of the animals were rescued,” Keller said.

Animal Control finally returned to the home this week.

Becker was charged with five counts of torturing and tormenting animals by depriving them of necessary medical care.

Animal Control officials said they did not remove any animals from the home this week either. An official with Cary police said the conditions did not warrant confiscating the animals.

Becker told WRAL News Tuesday evening the accusations have been blown out of proportion.

Keller says he just hopes the animals get the care they deserve.

40 Comments

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  • WRALcensorsforIslam Oct 15, 2008

    I've been around and around with Cary Animal Control in the past. If you have a pet of the wrong type/breed they will run to the Chief as fast as humanly possible to get it declared a nuisance and ordered out of town. (Chow, Pit Bull, etc..) If you have a breed/type they think is cute, the law is pointless, they will not enforce leash or noise laws. Period. If you have a beagle or a cocker spaniel, well, they're cute and statistically far more likely to bite than other breeds, your dog can run wild without a leash and that's cool. No problem, animal control in Cary will even run interference for you if your neighbors protest your dog is defecating in their yard, biting their kid or attacking your dog. This is what happens when gov't employees have the discretion to enforce the law differentially. They make a mockery of the law.

  • Adelinthe Oct 15, 2008

    "They are much better off being euthanized humanely rather than the latter."

    I will never believe a living breathing being is better off euthanized. Sure, some may not be able to afford the yearly physicals and shots, but if they're being loved and fed and sheltered, that's far better than being dead.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Oct 15, 2008

    "Animal Control officials said they did not remove any animals from the home this week either. An official with Cary police said the conditions did not warrant confiscating the animals."

    Animal control and the CPD should receive the same charges then, BECAUSE THEY LEFT THE POOR FURBABIES THERE.

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM!!!

    Praying for these animals, that someone comes to rescue them and THAT THE AUTHORITIES LET THEM DO SO.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • bama211 Oct 15, 2008

    My interaction with the police department regarding the countless complaints against my neighbor's lack of respect to their neighbors regarding their harrassing rotweiller dog, resulted in my warning to the chief that if they don't uphold the law, I'll file a complaint with the SBI. I also informed the police that the "warnings" were being tossed in the garbage by the dog's owner, and their actions regarding those warnings, made the police's authority look like the local girl scouts. The dog went in when the cop showed up, and right back outside (at 3am mind you) once the cop left. When I laid out my plan of enforcement, the police stopped "warning" and started "fining", at $125 per complaint, as prescribed in the Wake County noise ordinance guidelines. Knowing my neighbors are struggling financially right now, I've been tolerant lately "they have kids", but when the leaves come down, if the dog isn't under control when he can see our house, i'll enforce the fines again, no problem.

  • sayitoutloud Oct 15, 2008

    So what is AC going to do, wait til the animals are dead?

  • Hevans1012 Oct 15, 2008

    Wonder if there are any kids in the home?

  • Shadow213 Oct 15, 2008

    how can you accuse someone of torturing animals by not providing to them necessary medical care, yet leave them with the accused. that makes no sense.

  • Eduardo1 Oct 15, 2008

    No wonder Cary can not solve the Cooper case, they are busy running to a house of torture for defenseless animals. It sounds like a public health issue, animal abuse, and to many animals for a residence. In Cary with its variety of crime the old saying is "THE INMATES ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM". Wow, what a great reputation CARY is not getting. It is no wonder that the new hot place to live in the County is FUQUAY VARINA

  • ShareTheRoad Oct 15, 2008

    im as much of an animal lover as the next person (even moreso, probably, lol) but something just isnt right in this story.

    if the cary police AND animal control both felt the situation didn't warrant the animals being taken away, then i believe the charges of 'torture' are trumped up. if those animals are in any serious danger, they should have been confiscated.

    and im sorry, as much as it would really stink to have an owner that didn't provide proper care/medical attention, and im sure if there was an illness or injury that wasn't being treated it would be torturous to the animal, i think calling lack of health care for these pets 'torture' a bit over the top.

    i think this dude is a scumbag for not taking care of his pets, don't get me wrong. but i think calling it 'torture' and then leaving them there is just nuts.

  • Heather Oct 15, 2008

    A lot of times situations such as this are due to a mental disorder called animal hoarding. When hoarding animals the person feels they are doing a service by saving the creatures from imminent death. Eventually, it gets out of control and the numbers surpass the ability of the person to care for them all. It doesn't mean they don't love the animals (just the opposite) but their intentions are very misguided and they don't have the ability to stop taking in animals.

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