According to The Wilson Times, a Wilson County Judge will be deciding this week whether or not the 28 large-breed dogs seized last month will be allowed to remain with Great Dane Rescue Alliance (GDRA) or will be returned to the breeders accused of cruelty.
At a hearing in Wilson last Friday, attorney Will Farris asked for the return of Cynthia and Joseph Williams’ 28 dogs seized last month. The Williams’ are accused of animal cruelty, the result of years of complaints against the couple’s breeding operation, as well as authorities’ continued surveillance of the dogs’ health and living conditions. Farris told Wilson County District Court Judge Anthony Brown that all of the animals seized were under veterinary care. He also questioned why 28 dogs were seized when his clients were only charged with 10 counts of cruelty each.
Prosecutor Dusty Rapp told Judge Brown that the statue allows for the confiscation of other animals, and that “part of it was practical” since tacking on extra animal cruelty charges wouldn’t change sentencing.
The hearing continues this morning at 11:00 a.m. Should the Williams’ be granted ownership of their dogs, they will need to reimburse the Humane Society of the United States for the veterinary expenses incurred as a result of the dogs’ seizure.
GDRA filed suit against the Williams’ last Wednesday through Gerber Animal Law Center founder Calley Gerber, asking for ownership of the 28 dogs seized, as well as that the couple no longer be allowed to own more dogs.
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