Franklin couple guilty of cruelty to canine

Published 12:14 pm Friday, March 21, 2014

FRANKLIN—A Franklin couple has been found guilty of cruelty to a dog.

Demarko Thomas and Patricia Davis were in Franklin General District Court on Monday.

According to a press release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, in February 2013, the agency had given the couple a free doghouse and straw bedding for their pit bull mix, Angel. But when a PETA fieldworker went to inspect the situation in November, the dog was reportedly found in an outdoor pen and unable to stand up by herself.

“She was heavily pregnant, but so badly neglected that she looked like a skeleton wrapped in skin, her spine, hips, ribs, and shoulder blades protruding sharply,” the fieldworker had testified. Further, the inspector reportedly had to crawl under the pen to get to the dog because the owners couldn’t find a key for the padlock.

Angel was taken to a veterinarian, who reportedly determined that her condition had deteriorated to the point that she could not be saved. Euthanasia was recommended.

In the release, the vet had reportedly told the judge that “Angel would have been dead by the next morning.”

Judge W. Parker Councill sentenced Thomas to 30 days, all suspended, two years unsupervised probation and costs of $691.

Davis got 12 months and two years unsupervised probation. However, the Franklin General District Court website notes that her case is being appealed to Southampton County Circuit Court. She’s to appear on Monday, May 19 to establish a date for a new trial.

Both Thomas and Davis were also reportedly banned from owning animals, but that could not be confirmed at press time. “Davis and Thomas can never undo the suffering that they caused, but at least some measure of justice has been served,” stated PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA asks kind people to report abuse or neglect when they see it – a life may depend on it.”