Cruelty Charges Filed Against Local Mother, Son Over Dead Dogs and Emaciated, Chained Survivors Found by PETA


For Immediate Release:
January 22, 2024

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

Nash County, N.C. – After PETA discovered three dead dogs and four severely neglected dogs tethered outdoors at a local residence, it immediately reported the case to Nash County Animal Control and contacted county commissioners and the county’s health director (who oversees animal control) requesting an investigation—and subsequently, police charged the dogs’ adult owner, Kevin Lewis, and his mother, Lucinda Lewis, with four charges each of cruelty to animals.

Just two days before Christmas, after receiving a call from a concerned citizen about dogs kept chained outside and being deprived of food and water, PETA fieldworkers found the dead dogs’ remains tossed in the woods along with three skeletal dogs, who were still alive, and one severely underweight dog chained outdoors on the Nash County property. Convicted sex offender Kevin Lewis had been arrested in early December 2023 in connection with a felony larceny charge and had made no arrangements for the dogs prior to or during his incarceration. Lucinda Lewis told PETA’s fieldworkers that she couldn’t remember the last time she had fed the animals. Responding to PETA’s call, Nash County Animal Control picked up the surviving dogs, who are now receiving proper food and care at the county’s animal control facility.

In recognition of what these dogs endured—and because January is “Unchain a Dog” Month—PETA has placed a sky-high message in Raleigh to remind everyone not to chain dogs but to keep them indoors where they’re safe and warm this winter and beyond.

Two of the surviving dogs found by PETA’s fieldworkers at the Nash County property. Credit: PETA

“As people were cozy indoors and enjoying the holidays, these dogs were starved, trapped at the end of chains, cold, isolated, and suffering from hunger, thirst, and misery—unable to forage or find shelter for themselves as a last resort,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “This horrifying case is not unique but illustrates why keeping dogs chained 24/7 must be declared illegal—and PETA urges everyone to always report cruelty to animals.”

Every day, PETA’s field rescue team finds sick, injured, or dying dogs tethered outdoors without adequate food, water, shelter, and veterinary care, confined to the same few square feet of space day in and day out amid their own waste. Chained dogs have frozen to death during cold snaps or died from heatstroke on sweltering summer days. PETA staffers and volunteers deliver straw bedding and insulated wooden doghouses all winter long to dogs kept chained or penned outdoors and works with people throughout the U.S. to advocate for tethering bans and animal care standards in their communities.

This PETA billboard is located at 3030 Capital Blvd. in Raleigh

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.


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