More than 30 animal abuse charges against a Hickory man were dropped Thursday, after multiple dead dogs were found in a building he operated earlier this month.
Daniel Pride, 37, was arrested Jan. 3 after at least three dead dogs were found in the building where he ran a kennel. More than 20 other dogs were also found in the building in bad shape.
A judge ruled Thursday that there wasn’t evidence of malicious intent in the dogs’ deaths, which is a necessary requirement for a felony animal cruelty charge. As a result, all 31 counts of felony animal cruelty were dismissed, according to a release from the district attorney’s office.
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Pride waived probable cause on weapons and drug-related charges, according officials.
Hickory police are still investigating the dogs’ deaths, officials said. Several items have been seized from the scene, and evidence will be sent to the district attorney’s office for an “appropriate charging decision” after the investigation for consideration by the Catawba County Grand Jury.
Pride had complained in the past of feeling targeted by the Hickory Police Department, and said he was told by police he had to get a commercial building in order to run his kennel, Kash Line Kennels.
Police also told Pride he needed to get a kennel license, according to a GoFundMe page he started to raise money for the building where he’d house the dogs. The GoFundMe is no longer active, but when he was arrested, he had only raised $200 of his $5,000 goal.