09/06/09 — Animal neglect case will wait till November

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Animal neglect case will wait till November

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on September 6, 2009 2:00 AM

Proceedings in misdemeanor counts against a Fremont man accused of animal neglect were continued again on Friday.

Lawton McKenzie, 28, and his attorney Lynn Whitted are next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 6 at 9 a.m., according to court records.

The case has been continued multiple times.

McKenzie is accused of neglecting a female goat, and two pit bull terrier puppies, one male, one female.

Animal Control had received complaints about McKenzie's house in December, prompting a visit from Chief Animal Control Officer Jerry C. Pate, court records show.

Pate reported he could see dead animals on McKenzie's property from an adjacent plot, prompting him and former Animal Control Director Justin Scally to seek search warrants.

The warrants were granted, and the animal control officer reported that he discovered dead animals all over the property.

McKenzie has said that he had been collecting roadkill and was using the remains for taxidermy and other purposes.

However, the deceased animals on the property are not the issue in his Wayne County District Court trial.

The live animals, described as one black female goat, one brown-and-white male pit bull terrier puppy and one red-and-tan female pit bull puppy, are the source of the charges.

The complaint against McKenzie alleges that he "unlawfully and willfully did intentionally deprive (the animals) of necessary sustenance."

One other misdemeanor charge against the Old Black Creek Road man came about because of his alleged possession of a dead owl.

It is illegal in North Carolina to "possess a wild bird to wit, an owl, for which there is no open season," according to another complaint filed against McKenzie.