Animal Cruelty Case Brings Prison Sentence
After seven years as an animal control officer, Frank Ringelberg believes his department recorded a first this week, and in the process, sent a message to all would-be animal abusers.
On April 16, in Moore County Superior Court, Blake Cordon Pressley, 28, of Carthage, pleaded guilty to four animal cruelty charges. He received an active sentence of 17 to 21 months in prison and was ordered to pay $1,442 restitution to Moore County Animal Control.
The plea was entered just prior to jury selection in the case.
“To my knowledge,” Ringelberg said, “this is the first time in a case with only cruelty charges that we’ve gotten an active sentence.”
The charges stem from a case that began in February 2011, when Ringelberg responded to a home on Pats Road in Vass, which is just off Lobelia Road. Employees from Progress Energy reported seeing what they thought was a dead dog lying in the yard while they were doing work on power lines in the area.
“It was clear he just didn’t care about the animals,” Ringelberg said.
When Ringelberg and Moore County sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found three dead pit bulls and one still alive. All four animals were chained up in the backyard of the home, according to an incident report. The living dog had no food or water.
Ringelberg confiscated the live dog, and deputies eventually arrested Pressley and his wife. The surviving dog received nine months of care and was eventually adopted out, Ringelberg said.
“It (dog) had a rough start but is doing fine now,” Ringelberg said.
Ringelberg thanked the district attorney’s office for its hard work on the case and said the outcome in the case sends a clear message.
“We don’t play this cruelty game in Moore County,” he said. “We don’t let it happen.”
Contact Tom Embrey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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