Woman accepts plea in animal cruelty case

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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WINDSOR – An animal cruelty case against a Windsor woman ended here recently with a guilty plea.

Cherelle M. Askew accepted a plea of one count of class 1 misdemeanor cruelty to animals. She was sentenced to 100 days in jail, which was suspended, and 12 months of supervised probation. Askew was also ordered to pay $878 in fines, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

Additionally, Askew is banned from owning any additional animals and must allow PETA ((People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to inspect the only dog currently in her custody, Bella, to determine if the animal needs veterinary care and/or nourishment.

On June 22 of last year, Askew was issued three criminal summons on June 22, charging her with seven misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. Six of the those 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.

“Minnie endured a slow, agonizing death as a result of this person’s total disregard for her every need, and PETA’s fieldworkers know that other chained dogs remain out there, at risk of dying like this, too,” stated PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch in a press release. “Depriving dogs of basic necessities by keeping them chained is cruel, and it’s criminal, and PETA pleads with anyone who has a dog they cannot care for to call us for help. Do not let them starve and suffer.”

Minnie was found dead alongside several other dogs that were subjected to continuous chaining and chronic deprivation.

“(Minnie) was emaciated and still chained to a nearby tree,” said Nachminovitch, referencing a Feb. 15, 2022 visit by PETA fieldworkers to Askew’s property. “Neither she nor the five still-living dogs chained up on the property had any food or drinkable water within reach.”

Nachminovitch added that a necropsy found that Minnie had suffered from multiple parasitic infestations and heartworms.

During previous visits to the Askew property, Nachminovitch said PETA fieldworkers provided Askew with free dog food, spay/neuter services, doghouses, flea and flystrike prevention, and cable tie-outs and collars to replace heavy chains and choke collars

After filing a lawsuit against Askew, PETA gained full custody of six dogs formerly in Askew’s care.

Meanwhile, PETA’s efforts to hold abusers accountable and to ban the unattended tethering of dogs continues.

The press release also noted that two weeks ago, PETA’s fieldworkers found another dog starved to death in Bertie County. Charges against that owner are pending.