DANVILLE — A Boyle County grand jury has indicted two men on misdemeanor animal-cruelty charges after they allegedly let dogs attack a raccoon at the county fair.
Brandon McQueary, 31, of Danville and Donald Pike, 31, of Parksville were each indicted Nov. 24 on one count of second-degree animal cruelty, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.
The indictment for each man says 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, who proceeded to attack the animal.
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Danville police said at the time that the raccoon was "severely injured." Commonwealth's Attorney Richie Bottoms said it's unclear whether the raccoon survived because it was apparently removed from the scene by one of the defendants.
"No one knows for sure," Bottoms said. "It did not die at the scene."
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."
Bottoms said it took a while to present the case to a grand jury because there were numerous witnesses to be interviewed and telephone records to be subpoenaed. Bottoms acknowledged that polygraph tests were also conducted during the course of the investigation, even though they are not admissible as evidence in court.
So why do them?
"Well, they're just an investigative tool," Bottoms said. "Sometimes, just a person's wilingness to take a polygraph is a factor that you would want to put into the total mix."