PETA employees charged with animal cruelty

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In May, Ahoskie, N.C., police charged two employees of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals with animal cruelty after they were caught dumping dead dogs and cats in a shopping center garbage bin.

Andrew B. Cook of Virginia Beach, Va., and Adria J. Hinkle of Norfolk, Va., were each charged with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts of illegal disposal of dead animals.

Police had monitored the bin after discovering that dead animals had been dumped there once a week for four weeks, Ahoskie police said in a statement. Eighteen animals were found in the bin and 13 more in a van registered to PETA. The dogs and cats were from animal shelters in two nearby counties.

Cook and Hinkle were picking up animals to be euthanatized at PETA headquarters in Norfolk, according to PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. Neither police nor PETA could explain why the animals had been dumped. Hinkle had been suspended, but Cook continues to work for the organization, she said.