Animal cruelty charges filed

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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WINDSOR – A months-long investigation of alleged abuse of several dogs has ended with charges lodged against a Windsor woman.

Cherelle M. Askew, 58, of Governor’s Road was issued three criminal summons on June 22, charging her with seven misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

Six of the seven counts allege that Askew intentionally deprived necessary sustenance that led to unhealthy conditions to a specific dog. The seventh count reflects the same, only in this case the specific dog, a pit bull by the name of Minnie, died as the result of the alleged failure to provide necessary sustenance.

Askew is scheduled to make her first court appearance on these charges on July 6 in Windsor.

In a press release issued on Tuesday of this week, officials with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said their fieldworkers, during a trip to Bertie County, found Minnie’s skeletal remains, still chained, inside her doghouse. A necropsy revealed that the dog died of “starvation and extreme neglect.”

PETA claimed that other dogs on the property—Duchess, Nala, Duke, Zeus, Sandy, and a Chihuahua named Buddy who was given to PETA in August 2021—were kept chained in filthy, deplorable conditions.

PETA officials said their fieldworkers repeatedly educated Askew about the dogs’ basic needs and provided her with free food, doghouses, flea and flystrike prevention, cable tie-outs and collars to replace heavy chains and painful choke collars, spay/neuter services, and more.

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office eventually removed the four surviving dogs: Zeus (whose ears are freshly injured and permanently disfigured from years of flystrike), Duke, Sandy, and Duchess. Nala’s status and whereabouts are unknown, according to PETA.

“Minnie and her yardmates languished, chained up like old bicycles in a backyard, and countless other dogs are in danger of suffering a similar fate,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging Bertie County officials to ban 24/7 tethering of dogs, which is the best way to help ensure that no other animals suffer as these dogs did.”

Every year, PETA receives reports of dead or dying dogs, many still imprisoned in pens or with heavy chains around their necks. These “outdoor dogs” often go without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care and are confined to the same few square feet of space day in and day out.

Dogs suffer and die from dehydration and heatstroke in the summer and from frostbite in the winter. That’s why PETA urges everyone to keep dogs indoors and lobbies for animal protection laws such as North Carolina’s HB 1116 (Fiona Mae Wagglebottom’s Act), which would prohibit keeping dogs tethered outside during extreme weather, including when temperatures are below 32 or above 85 degrees.

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About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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