In a follow-up to a story I did the other day about Edward Faron being sentenced to only 8-10 months after being convicted of 14 felony dogfighting counts, it’s now official, all the seized dogs plus the puppies that have been born since the dogs were seized have been ordered killed. About 60 of the now approximately 150 dogs are puppies.

Yesterday, after hearing from the HSUS, a prosecutor, the attorney for Wilkes County government, Wilkes County’s animal-control director, all calling for the dogs to be killed, Superior Court Judge Ed Wilson Jr. handed down the order.

Two members of the HSUS said the dogs had been bred for aggression and and the Wilkes animal control director said that some of the dogs that were puppies when they were seized were already showing aggression.

That’s not really surprising considering I’m sure these dogs and puppies have been only minimally cared for, not trained or socialized. It could happen with just about any dog.

Best Friends Society tried to get their side heard without any luck. Although they said they have been trying to get in touch with Assistant District Attorney Fred Bauer since mid-January, Bauer told the Judge that he’d only heard from them last week and did not recall getting any messages from them prior to that. Best Friends had also gotten in contact with County Attorney Tony Triplett within days of the December raid and offered to work with rescue agencies to place the dogs.

“Those dogs are going to be killed solely because of prejudice,” said Ledy VanKavage, an attorney for Best Friends Animal Society, which had offered to pay to have the dogs evaluated and to spay or neuter the adoptable dogs.

“They should be judged as individuals just as people are,” VanKavage said. “It’s a massacre.”

The case had been set for trial next month. People working on rescuing the dogs thought they had more time.VanKavage said that when she learned about yesterday’s ruling she called Wilkesboro attorney William Burke to seek an injunction against destroying the dogs. She said Burke reported that when he got to the courthouse shortly before it closed, the judge was gone and the order was already signed. She said that Burke told her he thought the dogs would be dead before he could get the request before the judge.

It was unclear last night if the dogs had already been destroyed.

VanKavage said that Bauer misrepresented her side’s interest to the judge and it affected the proceeding.

“I think the judge wanted to hear our side of it and if we’d gotten some notice, we could have gotten into that courtroom, but the DA’s office chose to stonewall us and because of that, these puppies died,” she said. (Winston-Salem Journal)

And on a sidenote, the third defendant in the case, Amanda Grace Lunsford, Faron’s adopted son’s fiancee, pleaded to guilty to a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals. She was originally charged with felony dogfighting but as part of the plea agreement, it was downgraded to a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, just another slap on the wrist. She was sentenced to 45 days, which was suspended for 24 months of supervised probation.

So yet again, the only ones to really pay a price, the ultimate price, were the only ones we know were innocent.  Everyone else will be able to go on with their lives and who will mourn the dead, the innocents victimized at the hands of man, again and again and killed?

Rest in Peace……

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