Local News

Cary man accused of animal torture

Posted October 14, 2008 10:23 p.m. EDT
Updated November 9, 2009 4:43 p.m. EST

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.