Police mum on test results

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2005

AHOSKIE n The test results are in, but the Ahoskie Police aren't talking.

Rather, the latest evidence collected in the case of two PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) employees arrested June 15 in Ahoskie on a combined 62 felony counts of animal cruelty as well as illegal disposal charges will be revealed in a court of law.

Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk, Virginia and Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach, Virginia are scheduled to answer to those charges on Tuesday during a court session in Winton.

As part of their ongoing investigation, the Ahoskie Police Department sought confirmation if the drugs n Ketamine and Pentobarbital n found in a tackle box within the van operated by Hinkle and Cook on June 15 were the same substance found in one of the dogs retained for an autopsy.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh did say the test results, performed on a tissue sample from the dog, were returned earlier this week from a Pennsylvania medical lab. However, he stopped short of confirming if that test revealed if either Ketamine or Pentobarbital were found in the tissue sample. He said that information would be revealed at Tuesday's court proceedings.

However, it is known that the two drugs are of the Schedule III variety and, as such, fall under the regulation of the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. The drugs can only be purchased and administered by a licensed veterinarian, who first must obtain a DEA license to do so.

Neither Hinkle nor Cook are licensed veterinarians.

Dr. Cheryl Powell, a licensed veterinarian who owns and operates the Powellsville Pet Clinic, shared information about the two drugs. She said Ketamine is primarily used as aesthetic drug used to sedate animals.

&uot;You would have to get carried away with that drug to kill (an animal),&uot; Dr. Powell said last month during an interview with this newspaper.

She said Pentobarbital was the sedative given to animals to euthanize them.