Letter draws attention to neglect case
Rural Caswell County is prosecuting its first suspect under North Carolina’s tougher animal cruelty statute, known as Susie’s Law, but the case — in which three dogs starved to death while chained — is drawing little media attention.
Jimmy Lee Spears was charged with three felony animal cruelty counts, accusing him of willfully killing the dogs by “intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance” — namely, food and water.
All three dogs were found dead, chained and huddled together in the same doghouse.
But neither state nor local news media have reported on the case, according to a Feb. 22 letter to the editor of the Caswell Messenger, written by Karen Schneider, a board member of the animal shelter in Yanceyville.
“My husband and I found out about this case only because of our board member involvement with the animal shelter (APS) in Yanceyville. The three dead emaciated dogs were brought to the shelter by animal control on January 24th,” she wrote.
While praising the new law, which makes willful cruely to animals a felony, Schneider points out in her letter that tougher penalties won’t have much deterrent effect if such cases are not publicized.
“…There is something crucial missing in the handling of the Spears case and that is, no one seems to know about it … There have been no reports in the newspapers covering the details … This is a first test case of Susie’s Law for our county. Little benefit will result if it tiptoes quietly through the court system,” she added.
An Internet search reveals no news reports on the case, only Schneider’s letter and Facebook postings.
While no article on the case has appeared to date in the weekly Messenger, more than 50 residents have posted comments on Schneider’s letter.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal shelter, animal welfare, animals, caswell county, chained, cruelty, dead, dogs, jimmy lee spears, karen schneider, killed, letter to the editor, media, neglect, news media, north carolina, pets, public, public attention, publicity, starvation, starve, starved, susie's law, yanceyville