Two men pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges after they let dogs attack a raccoon at the Boyle County Fair last year, a prosecutor said.
Brandon McQueary, 31, of Danville and Donald Pike, 31, of Parksville pleaded guilty Wednesday in Boyle District Court, County Attorney Richard Campbell said.
The two must pay a $250 fine plus court costs. Judge Jeff Dotson probated a 178-day jail sentence for two years on the condition that the men have no more offenses that would require them to go to jail.
The two also are to perform 100 hours of community service, Campbell said.
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Initially they were to perform the community service at the county animal shelter. But a shelter official expressed second thoughts about that, so Campbell said the men are now to work with the Boyle County solid-waste department.
McQueary and Pike also agreed to the suspension of their hunting licenses for one year, Campbell said.
The maximum penalty for second-degree animal cruelty is a year in jail and a $500 fine.
"Neither one of these guys had any record, nothing significant," Campbell said.
The November indictment for each man said he "subjected an animal to mutilation, torture and torment, or that another person did so by acting in complicity with the defendant to commit this crime."
On May 30, a coon-dog treeing contest was scheduled at the Boyle County Fair, but instead, a "raccoon drag" was held in a horse arena. That involved releasing a raccoon into the arena with dogs, which then attacked the animal.
Danville police said at the time that the raccoon was "severely injured." It's unclear whether the raccoon survived because it was apparently removed by one of the defendants.
Fair board president Ryan Owens issued an apology shortly after the incident, saying, "No one on the fair board or myself was informed or approved of this. We do not condone or support any activities like this at our fairgrounds, nor will we ever. We wish to apologize to everyone and promise to work with all officials to resolve this matter."