Local News

Wake County Deputy Accused of Poisoning Dog

Posted November 9, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— A Wake County deputy sheriff has admitted to animal control officers that he poisoned a neighbor's dog with anti-freeze. The dog's owner took the sick animal to a veterinarian, but treatment failed to save the dog and it had to be put down. Sheriff John Baker said he doesn't think the matter appears to be grounds for punishment.

According to dog owner Lisa Bailey, 22, her neighbor Richard Lambert, had never complained about her dog. "With his being a law officer, he should know to call the owner. Why he didn't ever come over is beyond my belief," she said.

Lambert has agreed to pay the veterinary bills, and he faces a $100 in civil court.

Richard Rowe, Wake County's environmental health director, said the county attorney's office and animal control officer Donnie Barham decided to pursue only a civil charge against Lambert.

Bailey said, however, that when Barham was investigating at her home and at Lambert's property, he had said he was going to prosecute the person responsible with both civil and criminal complaints.

Bailey said she thinks the county is trying to take care of its own.

Baker said he would "have to look at the whole situation, but I would think that what happened is that he acted as a private citizen."

The dog, named Tiger, was a black and tan female that was given to her about eight months ago. "She was real timid and shy," Bailey said. "We were very attached to her."

Tiger had appeared sick when Bailey returned from work Monday. The dog was immediately taken to a veterinarian but did not respond to treatment. She was euthanized Wednesday night.

Wednesday morning, Bailey had found a plastic container in her yard that held hamburger in green liquid. A trail of trash led her to Lambert's yard, where Bailey said she found another container of anti-freeze spiked food near where Lambert puts his garbage.

Bailey photographed the containers and setting, and then called authorities. "I didn't think anyone would believe me," she said.