Two charged for starving dogs to death

By DeeAnna Haney | Dec 06, 2012

Two dogs left in the care of friends while their owner was out of town for work met with a slow and painful fate last month.

Two Waynesville residents face felony animal cruelty charges after allegedly starving the woman's Boston Terrier and 11-month-old Chihuahua to death.

According to police reports filed at the Haywood County Sheriff's Office, Chasity Renee Albritton, 29, and Christopher Dakota Cobler, 26, both of Parton Drive, Waynesville, had agreed to care for a friend's two dogs and cat while she was in New York for work.

The two were instructed to let the dogs outside every morning and bring them inside the house and feed them each night. In return, the owner of the animals, Jamie Furr, was paying the couple $100 each week.

Furr, who left home at the beginning of November, told police that she had spoken to Albritton and Cobler several times over the phone and they told her they were taking care of the animals.

But on Nov. 19, Furr’s friend, Kevin Hatfield, went to her home to pick up some of his belongings. That’s when Hatfield found Furr’s Chihuahua “curled up in a ball on the sofa dead,” according to reports. The Boston Terrier, was found stretched out dead in front of the washing machine.

“It was very clear that both dogs had been deprived of food and water, necessary sustenance for survival,” according to reports.

Hatfield said the dogs destroyed the door of the room they had been locked in and there had been food poured out on the floor on the other side of the door but the dogs couldn’t reach it.

Dr. Bill Snyder, a veterinarian at Junaluska Animal Hospital, said without food and water, a dog would likely die within 10 days.

Severe dehydration would occur in three to four days without water.

"With dehydration, the first thing that would happen is weakness and eventually depressed mental status. It's difficult to gauge pain level, but certainly it would be very uncomfortable for the animal," Snyder said.

The damaged door and couch suggest the dogs tried to escape the situation early on before weakness set it, he added.

Both Albritton and Cobler were arrested Nov. 21 and charged with two counts felony animal cruelty.

Upon her arrest, Albritton “made several comments about how nasty the house was and that she had done nothing wrong. All she did was feed the dogs,” reports say.

Both have been released on bond.