WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) — A complaint filed by the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) against a Bertie County woman has led to her arrest.

Cherelle M. Askew was arrested by deputies with the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office. She is facing seven counts of cruelty to animals. In a news release on Wednesday, PETA said the arrest stems “from her prolonged neglect of seven dogs she kept chained outdoors, at least one of whom, a young black pit bull named Minnie, died.”

PETA said it found skeletal remains on Feb. 15 of one dog which was still chained inside its doghouse. A necropsy revealed that she had died of “starvation and extreme neglect,” the organization said.

PETA posted photos of the dogs that were on the property. Be warned that there are graphic images.

(PETA photo)

The news release went on to say “Other dogs on the property—Duchess, Nala, Duke, Zeus, Sandy, and a Chihuahua named Buddy who was given to PETA in August 2021—were kept chained in filthy, deplorable conditions. PETA’s fieldworkers consistently found them and Minnie malnourished and neglected, even though they had repeatedly educated Askew about the dogs’ basic needs and provided her with free food, doghouses, flea and flystrike prevention, cable tie-outs and collars to replace heavy chains and painful choke collars, spay/neuter services, and more.

“After months of pleading and urging by PETA, the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office finally removed four surviving dogs: Zeus (whose ears are freshly injured and permanently disfigured from years of flystrike), Duke, Sandy, and Duchess. Nala’s status and whereabouts are unknown.”

In a statement, PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch said they continue to work with Bertie County officials to stop this from happening again.

“Minnie and her yard mates languished, chained up like old bicycles in a backyard, and countless other dogs are in danger of suffering a similar fate,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is urging Bertie County officials to ban 24/7 tethering of dogs, which is the best way to help ensure that no other animals suffer as these dogs did.”