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Dog Owner Wants Case Reopened

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ZEBULON — A Zebulon woman whose dog was fatallypoisoned with anti-freeze doused food got more disappointmentSaturday. A Wake County magistrate's office refused to issue acriminal complaint against a neighbor who received a civil citation in the poisoning. The neighbor, Michael Lambert, is a Wake County deputysheriff.

The decision not to file the criminal complaint was made by animalcontrol officer Donnie Barham on the advice of the county attorney'soffice.

"It's like we hit a brick wall," Lisa Bailey said. Her 9-month-old40-pound female dog named Tiger was euthanized Wednesday night after aveterinarian's treatment failed to save the dog.

"We can't do anything," Bailey said. "It's the county investigatingthe county."

On Saturday, Magistrate Timothy A. Hinnant refused to let Lisa Baileyfile a criminal complaint after he learned that the animal control programhad completed its investigation and issued only a civil complaint.

Hinnant said the only way the matter could be reopened is for thedistrict attorney to do so.

Bailey says she plans to go to District Attorney Colon Willoughby onTuesday.

County officials and animal control officers said Lambert admitted hehad put anti-freeze on food and trash in his yard to deal with dogsgetting into his trash.

Lambert may be fined $100 in the civil matter and has agreed to payBailey's veterinary bills.

Wake County's animal ordinance provides for both criminal and civilprosecution, according to Apex lawyer Mariana Burt. If Lambert were charged and convicted of a criminal misdemeanor of animal cruelty, he could befined $500 and sentenced to a year in prison. The same lawprohibits owners from letting their dogs roam off their property without aleash.

Because the county sheriff's department has no provisions in its policyfor dealing with civil complaints, Lambert is not expected to bedisciplined by the sheriff's department.

Robin Alley, owner of a Wake Forest pet grooming shop, said, "To me itis unreal that this would go on without being prosecuted. This is openseason on every dog out there."

Alley said she would bring it up at Monday's meeting of the RaleighKennel Club, and suggest a letter-writing campaign to County ManagerRichard Stevens and County Commissioner Gary Pendleton.

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