Heroic Woman Charged with Theft for Saving Dying Puppy

“I am not a thief,” said Meriko Cerda. “I rescued a dying creature. I had to act.”



A North Carolina woman is facing theft charges after she rescued a dying puppy from the yard of county deputy Jack McCloud.  The dogs were left on the property with no food or water while the man was on vacation, and the humane society says local law enforcement prevents them from helping.

“I am not a thief,” said Meriko Cerda.  “I rescued a dying creature.  I had to act.”

She lives on a rural road in Elk Park, and noticed that she hadn’t seen neighbor Jack McCloud in a while.  So she went to look around the yard.

“There wasn’t water. There wasn’t food. There were three dogs chained, and then I went to the side of the house where I saw the puppy,” Cerda explained.

The sight of these seemingly abandoned dogs, particularly regarding the condition of the puppy, broke her heart.

“If I left the dog I knew it was going to die,” Cerda proclaimed.  “Its eyes were rolling in back of its head.  I didn’t know when they were going to come home and the dog needed immediate attention so I took it to a safe place.”

She was on her way out of town, and took the puppy to someone who would find someone to care for it.  According to Sheriff Kevin Frye, this is when she broke the law.

“No one, no matter what good cause it is, can take the law into their own hands,” Frye said.

6.4.14 - Woman Rescues Deputy's Dog1

He says she should have called an authority.  But whom?  Would the sheriff’s department do much about one of their own?  Avery County doesn’t have an animal control.  The local humane society says that the police take no action if they are called, and the law prevents the humane society from taking in other people’s animals.

We wouldn’t have been able to take it because we’ve already been accused of having stolen property. The dog has to be turned in by his owner, so we would have had to turn her away,” said Avery County Humane Society Executive Director Bruce Malfatone.

Frye says Cerda should have brought the puppy to a vet, then.

“If she has brought it here to Newland or dropped it at vet here, or anywhere and called someone so we could make a report of it,” he stated.

Cerda admits that in hindsight, that is what she should have done, but could only think of what had to be done in the moment to save the puppy’s life.  No dogs should be left outside unattended for extended periods of time, especially with the heat, rain, and tornado warnings in Avery County, and certainly not without food or water.

“The dog was clearly starving. I fed and watered it,” Cerda said.  “I didn’t have money to take it to the vet. I’m just like anyone else, trying to pay my bills, raise my kids.”

The community has rallied around the hero, who will be fighting the charges as she maintains having done the ethical thing.  Deputy McCloud, on the other hand, sees nothing wrong with what he did.

“He wanted it back still and I said, ‘The dog would have been dead by time you guys got back from vacation,’” Cerda recalled.  “And his exact words were, ‘That’s beside the point.’”


6.4.14 - Woman Rescues Deputy's Dog2








102 thoughts on “Heroic Woman Charged with Theft for Saving Dying Puppy

    1. God help thoes poor dogs and the Devel with that guy who should be taking good care of Gods creachers!!

      1. God bless that woman for her actions !! there are many many many of us that agree with your position and on your side !!

  1. The poor puppy was rescued from an irresponsible, abusive and criminally cruel owner. Kudos to the woman who KNEW the RIGHT THING to do and had the nerve to DO that right thing — no matter that the garbage next door wears a MEANINGLESS badge.

    There ARE felony cruelty laws to protect animals in North Carolina. Read here:
    http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusnc14_360_363_2.htm — or summarized:

    “This section comprises the relevant North Carolina animal cruelty statutes. The anti-cruelty statute provides that if any person shall maliciously kill, or cause or procure to be killed, any animal by intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, that person shall be guilty of a Class H felony. If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony. This section also makes promoting or conducting a cock fight a misdemeanor and promoting or conducting a dogfight a felony. Other prohibited acts include abandoning an animal, conveying any animal in a cruel manner, and restraining a dog in a cruel manner.”

    It is the sheriff’s DUTY to uphold the law and arrest Jack McCloud!


  2. What! Why is the owner not being charged for animal cruelty? The owner is irresponsible. This would never have happened in the first place. Obviously, the owner didn’t care if the puppy almost died. Maybe the owner left for a period of time on purpose. The owner should be accountable and be charged for animal cruelty.


  3. This is an outrage! This so called deputy abandoned the dog and should be charged with animal cruelty, he should not be allowed to ever own an animal. The Sheriff’s website says ” Every person in the Avery County Sheriff’s Office will be held to a high standard of honesty and integrity in both their professional and personal lives.”

    If this is what integrity looks like these days we are all in trouble………

  4. The owner should be charged when animal cruelty and any other appropriate changes. The other rescuer shold be lauded as a hero. Anybody that we involved with serving team justice should be charged with obstruction of justice.

  5. Seriously, with his attitude, would you want him in your protective service. His attitude is callous. He should be charged and also fired. I hope this lady is exonerated. There must be laws that can help her case.

  6. Since when is saving a life a crime? This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. The POS who owns the dogs and left them without food, water, and shelter should be prosecuted for putting them in harm’s way, and he definitely needs a smack down for his flippant attitude. I hope the citizens of the town where he’s employed gt word and demand that their police department get rid of this worthless jerk. There should be a list for pet abuser just like the one for sex offenders.

  7. Since when is saving a life a crime? This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. The POS who owns the dogs and left them without food, water, and shelter should be prosecuted for putting them in harm’s way, and he definitely needs a smack down for his flippant attitude. I hope the citizens of the town where he’s employed get word and demand that their police department get rid of this worthless jerk. There should be a list for pet abusers just like the one for sex offenders.

  8. I can’t believe that this town would stand behind anyone who wears a badge and does something so cruel!! This man should be prosecuted to the fullest extent and all the dogs should be taken away and placed in a shelter to be adopted out. Thank god there are people out there like this woman who will step in and help an animal in need when such thoughtless pigheaded people exist that have pets. I would rescue the puppy too and help the other dogs on chains and not even think twice about the outcome.

  9. This jerk (I won’t call him an officer) is a complete scumbag. Animal cruelty and neglect are crimes and he needs to be held accountable. He should have all of his animals removed, and his badge taken away. He has no business being in the police force. In fact, he has no business being anywhere but in jail. What a piece of trash.

  10. Yes welcome to avery county!! No animal control and the good old boy system!! Kevin Frye is full of crap. Who was she supposed to call and report it to? His office would do nothing. . We have horses and dogs starve to death all the time. If you have a problem with a aggressive animal his officers will tell you to shoot it. No help with strays. But our taxes are higher than our neighboring counties. And if this young lady thinks she will ever see any piece here again good luck. .. Avery County needs a clean sweep of the sheriff dept. They are like the mafia. Deputies and magistrates that are brothers. . The crooked unjust stuff that happens here is right out of the big screen. Anyone who sees the picture of that puppy knows that McCloud is the one who should have been charged with felony abandonment and cruelty to animals!! And I will bet none of his animals have ranks vaccines and that’s a state law!! I’m telling you a bunch of thugs run Avery County. If anyone out there is reading this that has any pull with SBI or internal affairs. . Send help. . You will be appalled when you investigate!!!!

  11. WOW you would think this guy would know better than to do this. He should lose his job and face charges not the rescuer I would of done the same, let them charge me some laws need to be broken.

  12. If he can’t take care of the animals you should not own any, its that simple! He should be charged for animal cruelty and neglect and take he’s badge away as well! Thank you for the Hero that saved the puppy and deserve a medal not be charged for anything. she was doing the right thing.

  13. I was not there so I have no idea of the actual facts, but I am curious as to why she would leave the other THREE dogs unattended with no food and water???

    1. I believe the other dogs were chained and would have required a bolt cutter probably. You should see how these rednecks actually use a lock to tie up dogs. Morons.

  14. She is a hero, he a lowlife scumbag. She should be commended and the charges thrown out. He should be charged and fired. Sentence: can’t own animals of any type the rest of his life, lock him up for the same amount of days with the same amount of food and water he left them. The county should be ashamed they employ this guy. If they protect him, the voters need to clean house of the ones who could have done something (firing/termination) and chose to “protect” or make excuses why they can’t. These “officials” will say they are outraged but legally they can’t get rid of him. Protect their own bullshit. The taxpayers deserve better than this punk. They will say this has nothing to do with his job performance, oh but it does, his lack of common sense, decision making ability and lack of compassion should be enough to remove him from his post. Taxpayers down there raise up and kick ass

  15. Do not threaten, be polite, but you should contact local media and police to push for this officer being charged. No one will listen if we are stark raving crazies. Here are the NC animal statutes. At the very least he should be charged with a misdemeanor. Simply state that “according to NC Law Article 47 14-360, this officer committed animal cruelty and should be charged as such”. I am assuming that committing a law breaking act would result in loss of his position as an officer of the law that he broke.

    Article 47. Cruelty to Animals.
    § 14-360. Cruelty to animals; construction of section
    (a) If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
    (a1) If any person shall maliciously kill, or cause or procure to be killed, any animal by intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, that person shall be guilty of a Class H felony.
    (b) If any person shall maliciously torture, mutilate, maim, cruelly beat, disfigure, poison, or kill, or cause or procure to be tortured, mutilated, maimed, cruelly beaten, disfigured, poisoned, or killed, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class H felony. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to increase the penalty for cockfighting provided for in G.S. 14-362.

    (c) As used in this section, the words “torture”, “torment”, and “cruelly” include or refer to any act, omission, or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used in this section, the word “intentionally” refers to an act committed knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word “maliciously” means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive. As used in this section, the term “animal” includes every living vertebrate in the classes Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia except human beings.

  16. I would be interested in donating to her legal fund. I am not sure what the facts were, but I would do the exact same thing if I was in that situation.

  17. Everyone that is appalled by this animal treatment and the lack of concern by the police should contact Avery County at http://www.averycountync.gov/


    Robert C. Wiseman
    Avery County Manager
    PO Box 640
    Newland , NC 28657
    Phone: (828)733-8202
    Fax Number : (828)737-9395

    The County Manager’s office is located on the 2nd floor in the Administrative Building at 175 Linville St., Newland, NC

  18. why dont we leave this guy outside chained up for 4 days without food and water and see how he likes it

  19. This is an outrage..the ACLU should get involved , get this woman a lawyer and charges should be brought against the owner of these dogs/puppy regardless of what type of civil servant he is… being a North Carolina redneck is no excuse for
    doing this to animals… hope someone helps this lady and that the puppy and other dogs are taken from him. what a piece of crap!!!

  20. That pathetic, sociopathic, irresponsible and moronic cop should be arrested and imprisoned for animal abuse.Who the hell does that pos hillbilly think he is?

  21. this ahole needs to be fired immediately – probably his entire department as well. wow, someone needs to start a petition to get his loser tied up in someone’s back yard and left till he dies. wow, really, what kind of backward place is this!?

  22. ‘I would, and have done something similar and would do it again in a heartbeat. I’M saving YOUR animal’s life because YOU’RE an idiot and I’m going to get arrested. ? Don’t care. I will do whatever necessary to rescue an animal in need.

  23. This deputy is in law enforcement? What a joke! Jokes have been made about Florida being a backward state, but this county takes the cake! This “officer” (and I use the term very loosely) should be taken to task for what he did and probably will continue to do since he’s “above the law”. I applaud this woman for doing what she did. I would have done the same thing in her shoes. The Sheriff also needs to be taken to task for supporting his officer. Leaving these dogs with no food and water was morally and ethically WRONG! Would you want a law enforcement officer without any compassion and the attitude he seems to have? Not me!

  24. Ok she did the humane thing..why isn’t anyone asking the owner why he provide for his animals??? Animal neglect applies to EVERYONE,. Why isn’t he being accused of something? God the idiots in this country…

  25. where are the charges against the bastard that put a living creature in that position in the first effin place?!??!

  26. Motherfocker Deputy McCloud…someone should kick his butt and leave him chained to a tree in the middle of the woods.

    1. Actually, the laws are the same where I live and no one actually seems to care about the animals (police or animal control). That is why THE TAKER NEEDS to NOT to tell ANYONE where the animals came from. As for Sheriffs they are just following the laws the POLITICIANS CREATE AND PASS (remember that in your rants—you voted for the assholes in office. They are supposed to do your bidding, but they only do theirs and sick, hurt, abused animals on peoples’ property is not their concerns). Ask a politician running for office what they are going to do to change the laws for abused or hurt animals that ARE NOT being properly taken care of and if they care at all about these animals? See what your answer is and then decide who you will vote for.

  27. Thank goodness for this lady and for WCNC for running the story. I hope it brings awareness to the situation so justice can be served. No creature deserves to be treated like that. Others have commented on this as well, but if there is a legal fund for this lady, please tell me where I can contribute. We need to have better animal protection laws.

  28. I have nothing but praise for someone who will step in and help what cannot help itself. And shame on the deputy who is the one who really should be in hot water. I am glad his name is known now and I really hate that he is in law enforcement which should be respected, but now has shame associated with it.

  29. What a total jerk! And he is in law enforcement!!!! Pets need to be removed from his home and he should not be able to own any pet of any kind now or in the future. She probably saved that pups life and he could have cared less! Fire his butt! He doesn’t have the right to be a law officer!!!!!

  30. Typical, you help an animal and get in trouble, STAND UP for your rights and don;t let them intimidate you, hell with them. I would do it too. This County is going down hill. Let’s have his address.

  31. This “officer” is in violation several statues of NC Animal Welfare Act. Chapter 19A. Article 3. Shelter, food, and water must be provided for the animal at all times.
    19A-40 outlines the civil arrest procedure for citizens.
    if she took documented photos, consult with your lawyer and press charges.
    it is within your right. Now that the media has picked up on this story, he will have to face the scrutiny of public opinion.
    At min, he should be fined and time served for animal cruelty, at most and what we should all like to see is release from duty without benefits under abuse of power and time served. he is not above the law.
    we should all be sick and tired of those on the side of the law ignoring it as they please.

  32. the officer needs to be charged with animal abandonment or animal neglect. Something. He did a terrible thing and she did not. he must have something to hide if he is upset of a neighbor rescuing his dog. He would rather her mind her own business and the dog suffer and die? That’s against the law.

  33. Is anyone shocked about this? This is the rural sheriffs departments at their best. I own a rescue and see this all the time. Half of the time they are in charge of running animal control and the majority of them have no respect for animals at all. They think they are big men behind those badges in those little hick towns. The Senators and Congressman need to take a good look at the morons calling the shots down there…

  34. What a sick man that deputy is….he should be charged and fired. This woman should receive a medal and the sheriff’s department should be investigated. Lord help….this is what gives the South a bad name.

  35. if you go to the Sheriffs department website you will see that sheriff Frye’s mission is painfully failing and John McCloud according to state statutes is guilty of animal cruelty.

    Every person in the Avery County Sheriff’s Office will be held to a high standard of honesty and integrity in both their professional and personal lives.

    Department Information

    Mailing Address:
    PO Box 426
    Newland, NC 28657

    (828)733-2071 ext. 1208
    Fax Number: (828)737-0121

    1. DId you see the full page devoted to ‘Illegal Immigrants’ and how the Sheriffs department is committed to getting rid of em ?? I have yet to see any law enforcement page that does that.

  36. I am glad I don’t live in this county! Hate to think what law enforcement is like there! Is this deputy related to Vick?

  37. I am from the county and I assure you this is a biased report. A little digging into this lady’s past will uncover some other potential motives.

    1. You’re an idiot. You’re probably related to the scumbag sheriff or deputy. You should be tied up in a backyard with both of them without food and water for 4 days and see how you do. Disgusting bunch of scumbags.

    2. Its Mr and Mrs McCloud. Typical from people of the county…That lady is gonna get a lot of back lash from the area A hole friends like the above.

  38. This is what our world seems to be coming to. I see it EVERYDAY. ME, ME, ME. We have become the most self-centered, self-obsessed society (obsessed with everything but true values and really important things). That this man will probably be able to keep his job is such an injustice to the people he ‘serves’ (NOT). I am mortified that this woman is being persecuted and maybe prosecuted for doing such a good deed. There are times you have to cross boundaries to do that which is GOD-like and humane and she clearly did. Hope this guy gets killed in the ‘line of duty’. As he lies dying, then, maybe then he will realize what suffering is really like!!!

  39. So if you suspect and/or see a child neglected you take it..Just sayin…would be best to notify authorities and not be charged with kidnapping…

  40. on Jack McCloud’s Facebook page he has a pawprint with the thin blue line going thru it, How ironic and yet despicable that a man sworn to uphold the law, be not just an upstanding citizen but held to a higher standard per Sheriff Kevin Frye’s statements on the Avery Co. Sheriff’s website.
    What a joke you people are, the corruption, the cover up, YOU OUGHT TO BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!!!!!
    they love animals and care about animals sure they do. ANIMAL ABUSERS!!!! don’t sugar coat it, that is exactly what the McClud family is

  41. This is an Atrocity! He should be ashamed to call himself deputy or law enforcement. Truely sa

  42. none of you all care about the truth, you all are the ones that need help, all of you. You don’t want to hear the facts, just what makes you all feel good. I will not argue with fools and haters, I will pray for all of you

      1. Please pray for people who want your friends/family corrupt, animal-abusing, scumbag officer to be held accountable for criminal behavior! Your magical brain queefs may just be what it takes to mold my mind into conforming with your backwards culture and belief system. This guy deserves to rot, but will continue to own and mistreat animals because officers investigate themselves. Share, share, share. Get this sack of craps name out there and at least make his life a lot harder!

  43. to save a living being is never wrong. animals are not property, no matter what the law says. that law needs to be changed, as do many others. this woman did nothing wrong, however the person that left all the dogs in that condition, did do something very, very wrong. the deputy needs to be charged with cruelty. why do some laws apply to only some people.

  44. This woman is a hero and the sheriff should be charged with cruelty to animals! I think the ASPCA should get involved with this one. The dogs should be removed from the sheriff’s custody since he cannot afford to feed or care for them. Especially after not feeding or watering them and almost starving them to death. For the sheriff to say “that was beside the point” when the woman told him the dog would have been dead had she not intervened tells me he has no conscious what-so-ever when it comes to the ethical and moral treatment of animals. I hope karma kicks his butt and treats him 10 times more cruel than he did those animals. If I were the woman I wouldn’t give the dog back. I’d get a lawyer and fight this asshole with everything I had to keep custody of the puppy and to get the other two removed from him. Kudos to her!!!!

  45. I know many of you are very concerned about photos and statements made against a deputy concerning our charging a female for stealing his dog. We are looking into the allegations she has made, however, in no case can the due process of law be circumvented. However by stealing the dog she has totally destroyed any evidence of the alleged mistreatment. If she had “rescued” the dog and taken it to the humane society or a vet and called it would have been a very quick investigation with a determination based on facts, not just her opinion. No one loves animals, especially dogs more than I do, but just because a person believes something is wrong, does not give them the right to take the law into their own hands. Some facts I do know about this case are:
    1) I have never had a report prior to this about any mistreatment of animals by any deputy.
    2) In her statement she says the dog was near death and could not stand, yet the picture she sent me, shows the dog standing and eating in the deputy’s dog lot, and plenty of food and water there. This photo was taken the day she stole the dog and again there is food and water visible in the bowls, the dog was standing and eating.
    3) In 2010, this deputy and others executed a search warrant on her house and confiscated 6 marijuana plants and grow lights, possibly giving a reason for her animosity toward the deputy.
    4) As soon as we realized the dog was stolen by her, we tried for over 3 weeks to try to get her to let us have the dog examined to see if we could determine if the dog was mistreated, and to keep from pressing charges, the deputy did not want to press charges against her unless it was a last resort, she was given many many opportunities to not be charges by telling us where the dog was so we could return it.
    5) Even though the dog was “near death” by her words, it was never taken to a vet for treatment until she gave the dog away.

    I just ask everyone to please give consideration that only one side of the story has been told and there is a family who also loves this dog and has had a little girl crying because someone stole her dog. No one has the right to take and permanently deprive another person of property without due process, this is a sacred right of our nation. We or social services cannot do it with mistreated children and neither we or the humane society can’t do it with mistreated animals and no one can do anything with either of these if there is not adequate evidence. No one wants animals to be mistreated or allow the mistreatment of animals, but we cannot allow opinion to trump facts and we cannot allow people to steal property or take the law into their own hands without being held responsible. Again if she had reported her belief of abuse or if she had taken the dog to a vet or the humane society for evaluation immediately after taking the dog, no one would have said anything to her and if her belief was substantiated, criminal action could have been taken. She was given over three weeks to cooperate and reveal the location of the dog so it could be evaluated and returned to the owner if all checked out and not be charged with any crime, but she refused to do so. Again until the investigation and court proceedings are over, I ask your patience and consideration.

    1. Stick this up your … – your entire post is filled with bull sh..! You are defending a POS, scumbag, pseudo cop. As far as his spawn crying – too damn bad……hope she cries a lot more. The whole family is no damn good.

    2. I feel like a lot of your points here were cleared up by the statement give above. Now, I’m not familiar with your situation there, or how your investigative process works. However, it seems quite clear that you didn’t hear the following information given, or you chose to ignore it. 1. )Just because someone hasn’t had a prior charge for a crime doesn’t mean they can’t commit one. 2.) She stated that she did give the dog food and water because she was concerned about it’s wellbeing. So, of course there is food in the picture. And unless you are blind, you can clearly see that puppy is malnourished, and that doesn’t happen from going for 1 day without food/water. 3.) So, it’s okay for the deputy to commit a crime of animal cruelty but it’s not okay for a person to have marijuana plants? They are both crimes last I checked? 4.) Pretty sure if I had concerns of someone mistreating an animal I certainly would not return that animal back to the person in question either; and furthermore, her pictures on show the dog’s malnourished state. 5.) She stated (and I can understand completely) that she didn’t have the funds to take the dog to the vet. When you take a pet to the vet (regardless if it is yours or not, you are required to sign paper work that you are financially responsible for it). So, she did the best she could with what she had available – finding a home that could take care of it appropriately was the best option! Also, from the statement of the animal shelter they are not allowed to accept a pet that isn’t the person who is turning it over. So… What in prey tell do you want her to do? Leave the dog to die? Call the nonexistent animal control? Call the very police department where it has been openly stated would not do anything, and employ this person who left these dogs in these conditions? I’m sorry, I have yet to see a single valid point to be made by you. Who I assume is employed or directly related to the organization as the person who committed this atrocity by leaving these pets alone without proper care. However, I would say it would be nice to see an article or commentary from the deputy himself.

  46. I wonder which one of jack’s buddy’s wrote put that in your pipe. They all cover for each other. If they get caught doing wrong they will just make the other person look bad to cover their own butt. I certainly have no sympathies for anyone who would hurt animals.

  47. Here is a timeline of events concerning the puppy. No one here is sticking up for the deputy because he is a deputy, but he is a citizen like everyone else and his property cannot be taken away without due process. I also do not want to make Ms. Cedra out to be a bad lady or anything of the sort, I think her intentions and motives were from her heart, but after a prolonged time period, she left us little choice but to seek charges. I sincerely feel sorry for the people who took this dog in, they are wonderful people and formed a great attachment to this puppy, but so did the deputy’s children and wife. The puppy is sleeping in the house every night now and we will work with Ms.Cerda to assure her we will work diligently on animal cruelty cases, no matter who is to be held responsible. We however cannot make a cruelty case without evidence which means we need a vet opinion immediately upon seeing such cases. Without expert opinion, we will lose any court cases, the animals will be returned and we will have accomplished nothing.

    1) The puppy was taken the last week in April, deputy McCloud went on vacation from the 20th to the 26th
    2) He had another deputy coming by to feed and water the dogs, the puppy was in a 10×10 pen with a dog house, the puppy was missing from the pen on the evening of the 22nd.
    3) All other dogs (adult hunting dogs) were chained, but had shelter, food and water provided by the other deputy
    4) When deputy McCloud got back, he called the other deputy who had assumed another family member or friend had got the puppy
    5) On 4/27 or 28 McCloud spoke with his neighbor Ms. Cerda and found out she had got the dog, she said she had given it to a friend to care for, Deputy McCloud thanked her and she volunteered to take care of his dogs if he were gone again and said she would have the puppy back by the next week
    6) The first week in May , McCloud again spoke with her, and she said there was a problem she could not get the dog back.
    7) Deputy McCloud made a report to us about the dog being stolen on 05/01
    8) From then until her arrest on 06/02 numerous phone calls and even a meeting with me took place with Ms. Cerda and she refused to reveal the location of the dog and this is when the allegation of animal cruelty was mentioned.
    9) The picture she told me she took of the dog the day she took it show the dog standing in his 10 x 10 lot, eating out of the bowl of food which belongs to deputy McCloud, and is consistent with the food he gave his puppy
    10) She said the dog was too weak to lift its head up and its eyes were rolling around in its head, yet she admitted to me she did not take the dog to any vet, and the picture clearly shows the dog eating.
    11) After the arrest we found out from other means where the dog was located and have since returned the dog to McCloud, we also found it had been taken to a vet sometime in early May. That vet said the dog had worms and when a puppy gets worms, it takes very little time especially for a hound type puppy to look really thin as the worms get the nutrients from the food.
    12) We tried for over 3 weeks to keep from charging this lady and told her we did not care that she took the dog if she was in fear of it dying, but she could not keep it or have a right to give it away without due process. We thought something may have happened to the puppy as puppies can get very sick very quickly and from the photos all of us felt like it had worms, but had no way to know until we spoke with the only vet to see the puppy. We also explained that by her doing that she had thwarted any evidence of neglect which may have been present.
    13) No one is questioning her good intentions or her heart for animals, and we applauded her for getting the dog she thought was in distress, but she did not ever seek medical attention for the dog . The first medical attention that puppy got was from the people she gave it to over a week later, and she had no right to keep or deprive McCloud of his property permanently

    1. By your ‘timeline’ McClloud is in violation for having dogs chained up outside twenty four seven. A dog cannot be chained for long periods of time.

    2. What bullcrap!!! The puppys condition didn’t happen in that short of time, be serious.. If you love and care for your pets, you don’t go away for and extended amount of time and leave them outside, people checking on them or not, you find a housesitter or a doggy daycare. If you can’t do either one, stay the hell home, or take them with you.. Pets are FAMILY!!!!! Really a bunch of heartless, sorry excuses for a man who should go above and beyond to be worthy of his position of employment, his wife should follow suit… Sounds like a real great person to be in a position of law enforcement, seriously, who says that the puppy dying is beside the point? You should be a little less adament in defending this creep, and putting more effort into taking it upon yourself to make sure animal cruelty isn’t taking place, just because there is no prior record of it doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of it, and even if he had done it previously,I’m sure it wasn’t his fault, the dog probably made him do it.. kinda sounds to me like he is fully capable of it. Why in the hell would you even want to defend someone like that, oh right, he’s a deputy.. Besides that, in the state I live in, animal neglect is also against the law… So put that in your pipe and smoke it….

  48. Change your laws! These alleged Law Enforcement “people” are EMPLOYEES of the people. Your tax money goes into their paychecks. Get involved at the local level and change the laws. Make it a crime. And get that criminal recalled from service. He’s taking advantage of his position when he’s ONLY supposed to be REPRESENTING the people. Get him gone!

  49. You need to put the cop outside for a week without no food and water as punishment and see if he lives

  50. This woman deserves to be honored not harassed. This Sheriff should never be allowed to have animals.

  51. She saved the puppies life& probably gave food& water to his other dogs that were there starving!!! He needs to be punished for what he did!! Leaving those animals to die w/ no food& water while off enjoying a vacation!!! All his surviving pets should be taken away& he should be in court for animal neglect!!!! She rescued the puppy! How can u steal if the home was vacant& there was no responsible owner home to steal from???

  52. Try a different spin folks…You have a wormy little hound pup who looks like most other little wormy hound pups..A picture with food and water and it standing there eating…You have a lady who may or may not have a grudge against law enforcement..She trespasses and takes a mans dog…the sheriff tries for 3 weeks to get the puppy back…At that point she is charged with theft.(no mention yet of trespassing)…What would you do? I have read all the personal attacks and cursing and all that as well as insults to Avery County and the great state of North Carolina…If it makes you feel better then keep doing it but put yourself in the sheriff’s place with the info he had. It had nothing to do with the dog belonging to a deputy…If she had taken my little wormy hound dog off my property then she would be charged with theft and trespassing…and btw we may be backwards but it is agin the law to grow them plants that look like mater plants but ain’t in yer house!

    1. Once again, the puppy was sick when they left it, outside for an extended amount of time, no less. It didn’t get that way overnite. Why in the hell had the family not taken it to the vet before they left? If I had been in her shoes, I would of done the same thing. Her hands were tied, she didn’t have funds for a vet and humane society can’t take it in if you are not the owner, what were her other options aside from letting it die.. At what point did it not become about saving the puppy. They surely proved they didn’t deserve it back, if they really loved and cared about it none of this would of even happened…

  53. Jackass mccloud is an incompetent piece of shit. The deputy he had supposedly “feeding and watering” the dogs is more incompetent than Jackass. Tim clawson is a blithering idiot. Whole dept are idiots.

    1. I saved 2 kittens because someone thought it was easier to leave them outside (guestimated they were about 6 wks old) w/no food or water or dry place to be. They were cold hungry and shivering. Never told anyone (neighbors anyway) and still have 1 who is 9 years this month. Tuff. You can’t take care of them, don’t take them in. If you can help an animal, don’t broadcast to ANYONE that you took the animal. Gee, funny how that looks like the puppy I had. Yeah isn’t it tho?! I just picked it up the other day and it needed some help. NOT WHERE, WHEN OR WHY. You just got a dog/cat. If you don’t tell, they don’t know and didn’t care in the end anyway. They (the owners) are just being idiots in the first place and of course will call cops because they figure they lost ($$$ maybe) something because they’re too stupid to keep the animal healthy!! I knew someone who took an abused dog home, but told everyone she had the dog instead of just not saying a word in the first place. The owner had been told to get off the properly and just left the dog. Then when the owner went back to get said abused (which he abused) dog as his, everyone knew where it was and she had to return it. We figure since this person got their dog back it didn’t live more than a short while because the owner was known to be abusive. No food, water, tied up in all types of weather, no vet care, etc. Saved a couple because owners were idiots, and they animals lived good long lives both giving and getting loves and wonderful homes. Only God and me (and of course the animals) know the truth. No ‘theft’, no loss to owners cause they really didn’t give a rat’s butt anyway.

    2. Oh so now a fellow deputy is backing that asshat McCloud up. No surprise there. I wished that lady would have taken video of the conditions so there would be no way for them to lie. Even tho they would lie anyway. Its the Southern Cop code of ethics.

  54. This so called Deputy should be ashamed of himself for going on vacation and leaving the dogs with no food and water or someone to take care of them. He’s is mad because he got caught.

  55. Typical for any kind of “officer of the law” to get away with something like this. They are all the same. All cops seem to have their own set of laws. Let’s chain him up for a few days with food so far away he can’t reach it!!!

  56. North Carolina Law –

    North Carolina General Statute § 14-360 (a) If any person shall intentionally overdrive, overload, wound, injure, torment, kill, or deprive of necessary sustenance, or cause or procure to be overdriven, overloaded, wounded, injured, tormented, killed, or deprived of necessary sustenance, any animal, every such offender shall for every such offense be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

    In State v. Coble, the defendant kept two animals, including an emaciated dog tied to a tree, in her backyard. The backyard contained a broken doghouse with no food or water nearby. One of the dogs was found dead. The defendant claimed that someone else had promised to feed the dogs, as she worked twenty hours a day. The defendant did not express surprise or remorse when shown the dead dog and blamed their weight loss on worming medication.

    A trial court convicted the defendant of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. The appeals court found no error because the defendant knew the dogs were being kept, with her consent, in her backyard. The lack of food or water, the tying of the dogs, and her lack of surprise at the dog’s death contributed to the court’s ruling. Her administration of worming medicine indicated that the dogs were within her care.” State v. Coble, 163 N.C. App. 335, 593 S.E.2d 109 (2004)


  57. Legal Defense of Necessity –

    Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye stated to WCNC “no one, no matter what good cause it is, can take the law into their own hands,” http://www.wcnc.com/news/crime/Avery-County-woman-charged-with-theft–261878191.html This statement is not accurate. Sheriff Frye, President of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, with his years of experience should have been aware that North Carolina recognizes the legal defense of necessity. State v. Thomas, 405 S.E. 2d, 103 N.C. App. 264 (1991) and North Carolina Pattern Jury Instructions for Criminal Cases 310.10.

    The necessity defense recognizes that the law ought to promote the achievement of higher values at the expense of lesser values and sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law. If the harm which will result from compliance with the law is greater than that which will result from violation of it, [a person] is justified in violating it. W. LaFave & A. Scott, Handbook on Criminal Law § 50, at 382 (1972). From observing social media posts, Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye seems to lack the discernment to recognize the necessity of Ms. Mariko Cerda’s action to save the puppy. Hopefully, other players in our criminal justice system will have more discernment. The necessity defense is a matter for the judge, jury or district attorney to consider in this case.

  58. Equal Protection and Due Process-

    Equal Protection granted under the 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution guarantees that the laws of a state must treat an individual in the same manner as others in similar conditions and circumstances. Due Process is found in both 5th amendment and 14th Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. It assures that all levels of American government must operate within the law and provide fair procedures.

    Ms. Mariko Cerda is currently facing a felony charge in Avery County. The Avery County Sheriff’s Deputy currently is not having to defend his alleged inaction in criminal court. Sheriff Frye on his Facebook page states there could be problems with the cruelty case against his own deputy due to the lack of the evidence. “We (Avery County Sheriff’s Office) also explained that by her (Ms. Cerda) doing that (rescuing the puppy) she had thwarted any evidence of neglect which may have been present.” https://www.facebook.com/kevin.frye.948?fref=ts
    Sheriff Frye also references the destruction of possible evidence on the Avery County Humane Society’s Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/AveryHumane Destruction of evidence should be a matter for the district attorney or a judge to decide. A sheriff should not be the prosecutor, judge and jury under our system which guarantees “due process” and “equal protection.” If the Sheriff is going to consider the destruction of evidence in pressing charges, then he should also consider the necessity of saving a starving puppy.

    Avery County Humane Society, Avery County Sheriff, North Carolina Sheriffs Association, Mariko Cerda, Life with Dogs

  59. This is so sad! Who leaves their dogs chained up, no water and YES…I would have been arrested for the same thing this sweet person did by taking the puppy. It was NOT her intent to steal the dog…however, the dog would probably be better off with her! No matter how they spin it…he neglected his dogs.

  60. I encourage everyone to contact the corporate sponsors for the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association and express his or her displeasure with this situation. Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye is the president of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association. You can click on each corporate partner’s logo for contact information. If the Sheriff will not do the right thing, the corporate sponsors might.


  61. WTF!!!! SHEEE was arrested and not the stupid officer!?! Honestly man, you’d think police is out here to do some good, but I guess idiots get hired. Fuck that cop!!!

  62. “…That’s besides the point…” would seriously have been the LAST words that a-hole ever uttered….& he would never have been seen or heard-from again. THAT’S how you take-out the trash…

  63. So we know what town in NC to avoid at all costs . I seriously doubt the honesty of the police in this town.

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