01/05/09 — Suspect sought on animal cruelty charges

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Suspect sought on animal cruelty charges

By Staff Reports
Published in News on January 5, 2009 1:46 PM

A Fremont area man Monday morning was being sought by animal control officials in connection of what is being described as a bizarre case involving dismembered animals.

Meanwhile, a Goldsboro man faces felony animal abuse charges after he strangled and beat his dog in front of a school bus full of children.

The dog, which survived the ordeal, was rescued by investigators with the Wayne County Department of Animal Control.

The suspect, Donald Hatem, 47, of the 200 block of Scott Street in Goldsboro, will face felony charges of animal cruelty as a result of the incident according to Justin Scally, director of the Animal Control Department, who filed the charges.

In the second case, Scally went to the Fremont residence after receiving a complaint.

Scally, along with another animal control officer, found dismembered animals, a machete, knives, bowls of blood and what appeared to be a puppy's head in a plastic food storage bag.

Animal Control investigators removed 26 living animals from the home.

"It was the most horrific, disturbing case that I have ever investigated," Scally said. "What we saw I don't think I will ever forget for the rest of my life."

When officers arrived, they also found a dying goat.

Scally and another officer then loaded the goat which was unable to move or even lift its head up, onto a wooden board where they carried the goat out of the field and rushed it to a local veterinarian's office. They were able to save the goat's life.

"Some of the animals were being burned on what appeared to be a homemade grill of sorts," Scally said

Investigators found the remains of a decapitated dog with its front paws cut off, dead snakes, a dead turtle, dead puppies and what appeared to be a goat's head on the grill. Investigators also found the remains of several predatory birds such as owls on the property.

Other items were unidentifiable, Scally said.

The case remains under investigation according to officials and more charges are possible.