Arrests made in animal cruelty case

By Megan R. Harrell
Star Staff
mharrell@starhq.com

   Two arrests have been made in a case of animal cruelty that resulted in the death of a cow owned by local residents. The arrests came exactly one month after officers were dispatched to a residence at 252 Rasnick Hollow Rd., where emaciated cows were found.
   Thursday afternoon, Ruth and Donna Adcox were arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Carter County Sheriff's Department, Inv. Laverne Julian arrested the mother and daughter after completing a thorough investigation.
   Julian said several factors contributed to the delay of the arrests. "I wanted to make sure I got the statement from the vet, and they had moved from Rasnick Hollow out to Watauga, and I just caught up with them today," Julian said. He added that the holiday season was another factor in the timing of the arrest.
   According to Julian's official report, CCSD Deputy Janice Black was the first to notify Animal Control when she noticed the starving cows while on patrol Dec. 9, 2002. Elizabethton Carter County Animal Rescue was also notified, and a veterinarian was called to the scene.
   In his statement to Julian, the veterinarian said the cow was approximately five-years-old and suffered from hypothermia. He described the cow as emaciated, malnourished, and unable to rise, eat, or drink. The veterinarian attempted to treat the animal, but it died shortly after receiving medication intravenously.
   There were six other cows at the property which were taken by ECCAR and placed in temporary foster care. Goats, a horse and other livestock were also removed from the residence.
   The Adcoxs were previously charged with cruelty to animals March 12, 2001, but the charges were dismissed pending conditions which limited the number of animals the women could own. One of the judge's conditions was that they could not have outside animals for the next five years.
   Julian stated that last month's incident at the Adcox residence on Rasnick Hollow was in clear violation of the judges orders. He said he has notified the District Attorney's office of the violation, and expects it to weigh into the judge's decision on the latest charges.
   "The DA will probably bring those charges back up, and they will be in addition to what I have charged them with," Julian said.
   The Adcoxs are scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court Jan. 21, 2003 at 9 a.m.