Local News

Soldier, wife charged with drowning puppy

Posted January 22, 2015
Updated January 23, 2015

Riley was an 8-month-old lab mix (Photo from Facebook)

— A Fort Bragg soldier and his wife were charged Thursday in what Cumberland County authorities called a horrific case of animal cruelty.

John Garrett Burrow is accused of tying the legs of an 8-month-old puppy together, attaching the feet to the dog's nose with military parachute cord and tossing the dog into McFadyen Lake in Fayetteville.

The lab mix, named Riley, had run away from home on at least two occasions and had reportedly been injured, authorities said. The dog's body washed up on the shore of the pond on Jan. 2.

Burrow had posted on Facebook shortly after Thanksgiving that Riley was being treated in Charlotte for a broken femur. But he and his wife later claimed they couldn't afford the veterinarian bills.

Burrow, 22, of 440 Georgetown Circle, was charged with felony cruelty to animals. Kelsey Caroline Burrow, 20, of the same address, was charged with being an accessory after the fact, which is a misdemeanor.

Bond for John Burrow was set at $10,000, provided he would be released to his unit commander. He is expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

Kelsey Burrow was released under a $2,000 unsecured bond.


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  • Sammy Macloud Mar 27, 2015
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    How about a follow up to these 2 disgusting sorry people....charges, sentences what...???

  • B my Erskerr Jan 24, 2015

    Peaceful and painless intravenous euthansia is available at Cumberland County Animal Control, as is an Injured Animal Stabilization Fund. Both are options. Lungs filling with water, suffocation, as well as jagged broken ends of a femur bone moving around inside a leg, tearing muscle, blood vessels, and nerves, as the injured limb is tied to other limbs and a muzzle, is not an option. Well, not one without ramifications, legally and mentally, to the criminal choosing such. Acute, shooting pain during the tying process, as well as during the suffocation, is inhumane cruelty by Cumberland County code. Justified arrest, hope to justify conviction and sentencing, to include discipline that will teach the poor wretch of options and choices better than the one he made. Finances are an excuse, not a reason. A follow-up news piece about the state/county and NPO options available to pet owners feeling desperate would be a positive by-product of a terrible act.

  • Alexia Proper Jan 23, 2015
    user avatar

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    They're charged with a felony. I'd say that's serious.

  • Good gift 88 Jan 23, 2015

    How very unfortunate that this couple could see no options. I hope that they get a felony charge and perhaps some jail time or at least a long community service at an animal shelter. Sounds punitive but sometimes that's all that motivates a person NOT to abuse an animal (or a child). The couple certainly needs some intense counseling. Their consciences are malfunctioning and that's a threat to society

  • Mary Zulch Jan 23, 2015
    user avatar

    We are all God's creations. No creation should die in fear and agony. I know that animal brutality or cruelty charges are not as serious here in the south as elsewhere. These 2 should have a court order denying them any ownership of a cat, dog...anything. forever. These 2 have serious psychological problems. I feel, however, we need a national site to check for people with these problems. They should never be allowed to own a cat, dog, anything living again...forever. I just hope they treat their children better. It does not seem likely with their level of frustration. If they have kids...poor kids.

  • un4given1 Jan 23, 2015

    CAPTLUCY you have issues. This piece of dung is 22 years old and knows between right and wrong. There are no excuses.

  • CaptLucy Jan 23, 2015

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    Well his wife isnt a trained killer. And just because someone is in the military does not mean you are trained that way. I am positive you never served so you would not know.

  • Beth Pearce Jan 23, 2015
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    WRAL needs to add LIKE buttons! Or maybe dislike buttons too! LOL! Because I see several great comments I'd love to like.

  • Susan Tennant Jan 23, 2015
    user avatar

    This couple could have made a different choice as to how to get rid of this dog. There are shelters, rescue groups and other people wanting a dog. they could have even dropped it off at a vet hospital or shelter and just drove off, someone would have rescued it. Instead they killed it in a horrific way! If they would do this to a dog it raises the question of how they would treat a child. I would be very leery of someone with this kind of mentality. I can't help but wonder if he abuses his girlfriend.
    I have 4 dogs,all rescues as a widow alone they bring me much enjoyment and love . They greet me when I come home , they seek me out for love and attention and in return they give me unconditional love and devotion. No they are not a human they are better and smarter than many human beings .
    RIP Riley and may you run forever free and happy over the Rainbow Bridge.

  • Stud and Jack getting hammered Jan 23, 2015

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    DOgs are one of Gods creatures and thus should be loved as such. I would pray that he enters the dark, decrepit areas of your infested soul and turn them into his loving light of understanding and kindness. God bless RR