Fayetteville man accused of starving two dogs to death

FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville man is facing animal cruelty charges after two dogs in his care died of starvation.

Cumberland County Sheriff's detectives arrested 30-year-old James Marvin Wing, of Hyannis Drive on two counts of felony cruelty to animals this week.

Authorities said an investigation revealed that Wing left two full grown pit bulls locked in wire cages with no access to food or water for at least two weeks.

On Feb. 27, a Cumberland County Sheriff's deputy went to his home to serve eviction papers and discovered the dead dogs locked in their cages inside the garage.

The animals were later examined by animal services, who determined they died of starvation.

"On a BCS scale from 1 to 9, with 9 being fat and 1 being skinny, these [dogs] were about a half," said Dr. John Lauby, the director of Cumberland County Animal Control.

Lauby conducted the examination of the deceased dogs.

"There was no food at all in the intestines, stomach, anything in the colon. There was no fat," he said. "It has used its body fat to stay alive and just couldn't do it."

Wing faced a Cumberland County judge Tuesday afternoon telling him he'd been in and out of the home. Authorities said he admitted that he'd stopped feeding the dogs during those visits.

"The individual is claiming that he did not own the dogs, but he was living in the house with them and did not feed them," said Lauby. "By law in North Carolina, if you feed, water or shelter an animal, you are the owner and responsible for its care."

A judge increased Wing's bond from $5,000 to $25,000 secured. Each felony cruelty conviction carries up to 30 months in jail. Wing's next court appearance is March 31.

Cumberland County cases

This case marks one in a string of felony animal cruelty cases Cumberland County authorities have charged this year. (Read more here.)

Lauby, in part, credits that to an overhaul in their enforcement department.

Following Wing's court appearance Lt. Elaine Smith, the new head of cruelty enforcement, went across the street to the Cumberland County courthouse to seek felony charges in a pony starvation case. Her predecessor filed misdemeanor charges, said Lauby.

Lauby also credits the enforcement to eyewitnesses.

"More people are making us aware of the cruelty situation," he said. "We're speaking for the animals."

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