By Eliot Kaufman
Siler City, NC – This happened in Chatham County. Hold them accountable.
On May 24, 2020, a sweet innocent dog named Atlas who was being trained at a dog rehabilitation center for a local veterinarian, was brutally tortured and killed through injection of phenobarbital. No effort was made to calm the dog though use of a sedative as in humane euthanasia. Once he was injected the two individuals who killed him let several dogs out of adjoining kennels in the rehabilitation facility. The dogs were scared and agitated, sensing that Atlas was dying. The women then hid in their cars, leaving the dogs to their own devices, called local Animal Control (a component of local Sheriff Departments in NC) reporting that dogs were not kenneled properly at the facility, but left to run wild, fight and were eating each other. The owner and trainer of the rehabilitation facility was not on the premises at the time of the incident, taking care of business off-site that afternoon. He received a phone call from Animal Control informing him that one of his dogs was dead and several dogs were loose. He came back to skittish dogs and blood all over the site of Atlas’s death.
The women responsible for killing the dog also submitted a written report to Animal Control, asking that it be kept confidential. In the report, they described a training facility whose owner routinely tortured dogs and should be shut down. Two days later, the trainer was notified by an Animal Control officer that a toxicology report revealed that Atlas did not die as a result of out-of-control dogs, but through purposeful injection of an overdose of phenobarbital. He was informed by an Animal Control officer that the two women found on-site were using aliases and left the state, so further investigation was fruitless. The officer advised him to keep things quiet about the incident in case the women reappeared and could be pursued.
The women (now known to be employed traveling nurses living in Greensboro NC) are part of an internet trolling group that targets dog trainers, shelters and rescues in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. The group’s Facebook page features the administrator who refers to herself as Detective Bark. The woman and her followers cyberstalk dog trainers, shelters, and rescues, seriously damaging the reputation and businesses of their targets.
These women have violated NC Cruelty to Animal and Cyberstalking laws, as well as Federal Cruelty to Animal Law. To date and despite reports to local law enforcement, NC Department of Justice, Attorney General Office, State Bureau of Investigation, Sheriff Standards, Victim Assistance, and others, nothing has been done. When responses to request for assistance have been acknowledged by any of these entities, most direct the rehabilitation facility owner to report the incident to and seek assistance from local law enforcement.
However, the local law enforcement entity, Animal Control/Sheriff Office, has ignored all requests for assistance, and in a recent face to face meeting with the training facility owner refused to acknowledge that a report of the incident exists.
This is despite the local Animal Control Ordinance § 91.004 EMPLOYEES OF THE ANIMAL SERVICES DIVISION that requires employees “To investigate reported or observed animal cruelty, mistreatment, neglect, or animal abuse and make written reports of such investigations and, when requested, provide such reports to appropriate law enforcement officers or the District Attorney’s office.” While the Sheriff did acknowledge that a toxicology report was requested and performed, he stated that the report doesn’t “prove anything”. Without access to the facts about the events of the torture and death of Atlas, the owner of the rehabilitation facility has been unable to pursue any remedy to the unlawful killing of the dog, or factually defend himself from the libel and cyberstalking that continues unabated, spreading the dog torture stories created by individuals in the Facebook group and most recently communicating threats to the trainer (“ your days are numbered”) as well as sending obscene mail to a family member; nor has the intentional killing of Atlas been pursued. I am seeking assistance to help stop the cyberstalking by these individuals and to bring justice for the killing of an innocent dog, both clear violations of NC and federal law.
Here is how you can help have your voice heard. I have tried these and gotten nowhere. But you can help if you are outraged that this atrocity is allowed to take place and nothing be done. I encourage all to speak out. Just think what if this happened to your dog(s)? Your family?
Chatham County District Attorney
Sheriff Mike Roberson
Chatham County Animal Control
Captain Chris Cooper
NC General Assembly
Rep. Valarie Fousee
Rep. Robert Reives