Guilty Pleas in NC Dogfighting Case, Action Needed to Save Dogs

The owner of the 127 Pitbulls seized in Wilkes County, NC in December did not meet a January 15 deadline to pay a $53,000 ransom boarding fee imposed by authorities and therefore forfeited rights to his dogs. At that point, the dogs became the property of the county:

If the dogs’ owner is found guilty, the dogs that were seized will be euthanized, county officials said.

The owner and his son have now pleaded guilty to felony dogfighting charges. Both have been sentenced but a third defendant in the case (Amanda Lunsford) is still waiting for a hearing. It is possibly the only thing keeping the seized dogs (and the many litters of pups born since) alive at this point:

Any decision about what to do with the dogs will be made after Ms. Lunsford’s case is resolved, Wilkes County Attorney Tony Triplett said this morning.

Best Friends still has an offer on the table for Wilkes County authorities:

Ledy VanKavage, Best Friends Senior Legal Analyst, has been in touch with North Carolina County Attorney Tony Triplett and Animal Control Director, Junior Simmons, to offer help and discuss alternatives to euthanasia. Best Friends is willing to send a certified applied behaviorist out to evaluate the dogs and puppies. Of those who do well, Best Friends will fund their sterilization and transportation to responsible rescue groups.

They’ve also got an action item:

Please contact each of the following individuals and respectfully ask them to accept Best Friends’ offer to arrange for behavior evaluations of the dogs, assistance with spay/neuter surgeries and placement of dogs that pass a stringent behavior evaluation.

Wilkes County Board of Commissioners
110 North Street
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-651-7346

Wilkes County Attorney Tony Triplett
Vannoy, Colvard, Triplett & Vannoy
922 C Street
P.O. Box 1388
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Phone: 336-667-7201
Fax: 336-838-7250

District Attorney Tom Horner
500 Courthouse Drive Suite 2022
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-667-6361or 667-2994

If you are a Wilkes County resident, please attend the Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, February 17 at 6:30 pm. Voice your concern, politely and respectfully, for the seized dogs and regarding the law requiring them to be killed. Remind the Board that every dog deserves a fair evaluation.

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