Enforce Animal Welfare Laws in Rutherford Co., North Carolina

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Yesterday, Rick and his girlfriend found a puppy locked in a vehicle at Bubba's Fun Park in Forest City at about 4.45pm. The called 911, and Rick stated there was no water in the vehicle, just an empty chewed styrofoam cup. When the police arrived after 32 MINUTES, only because of a second call to the police regarding the car alarm going off (when the door to the vehicle was opened).

The police returned the animal to the owners and did not file charges against the owner, despite officers finding no evidence of water and knowing the puppy had been locked in the hot car on a 93 degree day for over an hour and a half.

The witness reported the plate number as BHS-4142 and he has video and photos of the dog locked in the hot car, clearly in distress and overheated.

See video here:


Any person having custody of an animal, as owner or otherwise, who neglects or refuses to supply such animal with necessary and adequate care, food, drink, air, light, space, shelter, and protection from the elements as prescribed in this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Water. Fresh, clean water should be provided at all times in adequate amounts. Owners should take into consideration the age and size of the animal and the temperature, to ensure the uses of a large enough container.

Upon receipt of a complaint by one or more persons setting forth the nature and date of the cruelty, the apparent custodian of the animal, the address of the said apparent custodian and a description of the animal, the animal control officer shall investigate the complaint to determine whether the act complained of violates this ordinance. If the complaint is valid upon the animal control officer's investigation, he or she may remove from the owner's or the keeper's custody the animal(s) being investigated immediately and placed in the protective custody of the Rutherford County Animal Shelter (Court Order For Protective Custody of Animals executed by District Court Judge, 29th Judicial District, North Carolina, Honorable Deborah Burgin, on May 31, 1993). After the animal control officer has taken custody of an animal, he or she must file a complaint pursuant to Article 1 of General Statutes Chapter 19A-46 as soon as possible to the court. When an animal control officer seizes an animal(s), he shall leave with the owner, if known, or affixed to the premises or vehicle a copy of the court order and a written notice of a description of the animal, the place where the animal will be taken, the reason for taking the animal, and the animal control officer's intent to file a complaint in district court. (State Statute 19A-46C).


§ 14-363. Conveying animals in a cruel manner

If any person shall carry or cause to be carried in or upon any vehicle or other conveyance, any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Whenever an offender shall be taken into custody therefor by any officer, the officer may take charge of such vehicle or other conveyance and its contents, and deposit the same in some safe place of custody. The necessary expenses which may be incurred for taking charge of and keeping and sustaining the vehicle or other conveyance shall be a lien thereon, to be paid before the same can be lawfully reclaimed; or the said expenses, or any part thereof remaining unpaid, may be recovered by the person incurring the same of the owner of such animal in an action therefor.
§ 14-360. Cruelty to animals; 

(a) If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(c) As used in this section, the words “torture”, “torment”, and “cruelly” include or refer to any act, omission, or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used in this section, the word “intentionally” refers to an act committed knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word “maliciously” means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive. As used in this section, the term “animal” includes every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings

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