Did you hear about the PETA activists in North Carolina....went around collecting stray and unwanted pets....then put them down instead of finding them a home? Found themselves in court facing jail time for it.
North Carolina Officials Look at Possible New Charges Against Ex-PETA Employee, Assistant
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WAVY News 10 has learned North Carolina officials may consider more charges against two people associated with the Norfolk-based People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals.
10 On Your Side broke the story of Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook facing charges of animal cruelty and illegal dumping of animal remains last month.
Now, police in Ahoskie, N.C., are trying to figure out if the animals in the case were euthanized. If so, it could mean more problems for PETA.
PETA has been very open about it's work in North Carolina. Its programs includes euthanizing animals it considers to be unadoptable.
But WAVY News 10 has learned only licensed veterinarians can euthanize under North Carolina law, and officials there say Hinkle and Cook are not licensed vets.
So police say the two could be in more trouble if detectives find they euthanized the animals allegedly found in a dumpster last month.
"We want to know what caused the animals' death," says Det. Jeremy Roberts of the Ahoskie Police Department.
If it's euthanasia, then two PETA employees have a problem because according to Roberts, "they were basically practicing veterinary medicine without a license," which is against North Carolina state law.
Any that's where police are focusing their investigation after Hinkle and her assistant Cook were caught in police sting last month supposedly dumping dead dogs and cats in a North Carolina dumpster.
Police say they're certain the two PETA workers took the animals from a Bertie County animal shelter while they were still alive. So how did they die?
"We're investigating the possibility they were euthanized," says Roberts.
Detective Roberts says a recent autopsy on a dog found in the dumpster could point to that.
"The doctor said there was a puncture wound in the vein in the dogs right front paw."
But detectives can't say for sure the dog was euthanized until the animal's body is analyzed for drugs, and until lab tests identify the narcotics police say they found in a PETA van supposedly used to take the animals to the dumpster.
"if there were any drugs in the dog's body, if the drugs in the dogs body match the drugs found in the van," says Roberts.
If that's found the be the case, it could mean more problems for the suspended PETA employee and her assistant because only a veterinarian can euthanize an animal in North Carolina.
"Under North Carolina only licensed veterinarians can perform euthanasia or produce any irreversible change," says Thomas Mickey, Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Veterinary Medicine.
PETA all along has said Hinkle was a licensed euthanasia technician and even provided her certification to prove it. But the certification is for the state of Virginia, and detectives say it doesn't apply to North Carolina.