Local News

Dog Owner Faces Animal Abuse Charges

Posted January 23, 2007 5:50 p.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2007 7:02 p.m. EST

— The Wilson County Humane Society has been at odds with the county’s animal control office in the past. But now, the two agencies have worked together in a case that led to a dog owner’s arrest.

Daryel Newsome, 55, is charged with three misdemeanor and one felony count of animal abuse. Investigators said they discovered about 50 dogs -- mostly pugs -- living in rows of stacked kennels.

“Some of the animals were just encrusted,” said Holly Carmichael, president of the Wilson County Humane Society. “They were wet, they were dirty. There were some animals that had very little hair on their limbs.”

Carmichael helped animal control officers remove the dogs from Newsome’s home

“It was just a nasty situation,” she said.

Newsome was unavailable for comment, but contractor Tony Holloman told WRAL he has done work on Newsome's home. He said Newsome might have had too many dogs, but he took good care of them.

“I personally feel like the animal cruelty charges were just nonsense, because I don't see how he was cruel to the animals at all,” Holloman said.

However, Carmichael said the conditions that the dogs were found in were not healthy.

“Animals have to have a certain amount of space,” she said. “They have to have fresh air. They have to be able to move around.”

In October, Wilson County Animal Control officials investigated a complaint about dozens of Walker hounds that were said to be starving. No criminal charges were filed after the agency said most of the dogs appeared to be in good health.

The Wilson County Humane Society expressed their outrage over the statement, and the case prompted a county review. In November, hundreds of citizens attended a meeting of the county’s Animal Control Committee.

But in the latest case, several county agencies and nonprofits worked together to remove Newsome's dogs and place them in rescues.

“It was really a good felling to know that we can cooperate and to see what we can do when we do cooperate,” Carmichael said.

Most of the dogs seized have gone to a pug rescue organization based in Greensboro. Veterinarians have begun to evaluate the health of the dogs.