GASTON CO. (WJZY) - A Mount Holly man is facing numerous charges including cruelty to animals after officials said one of his dogs died while in his care.
The animal cruelty complaint was first reported on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at a residence located along Peppertree Drive.
Upon arrival, Animal Care and Enforcement Specialists observed two dogs in a lot. They said the dog in question appeared active, alert, never fell down, but was obviously thin. Based on their observations, they believed the dog was not critically ill.
The specialist filed a report for animal cruelty and the owner was given a warning. They said the warning required the owner to take the animal to a veterinarian for examination. The report also required follow up by the specialist, which was set for March 18, 2016.
Officials said their ultimate goal is for the animals to regain their health while remaining with the owner.
On Friday, March 11, 2016 specialists returned to the home to check on the dog. Prior to their arrival, the owner reportedly left the residence with the dog to take to the veterinarian. The owner returned with the dog and said the animal had died on the way to the vet.
On Saturday, March 12, 2016 Animal Care and Enforcement Specialists returned again to issue the owner citations for rabies and license violations.
On Wednesday, March 16, 2016 investigators said they conducted another follow up investigation at the location of the home. While on scene the owner, Derek Scott Weatherly, 25, agreed to surrender his three remaining dogs.
The three dogs were taken to the Gaston County Animal Shelter where they were ultimately claimed by a Placement Partner Organization.
On Thursday March 18, 2016 Weatherly was charged with two counts of misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Weatherly was released on a $2,500 secured bond.