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A North Carolina couple, both known as animal rescue workers, have been arrested on account of poisoning their neighbors’ dogs, according to local law enforcement.
James Goldston III, 71, and his wife Agnes Goldston, 73, were apprehended on May 11, following allegations of animal cruelty and ongoing threats, as confirmed by the Wake City-County Bureau of Identification. The couple faces charges of cruelty to animals and communicating threats.
Phillip and Jessica Ridley, the couple’s neighbors, have reported that three of their dogs fell ill within the past year, resulting in the tragic death of two. The Wake County Sherriff’s Office provided a statement elaborating that the Goldstons are charged with three counts of animal cruelty, a felony, and one count of communicating threats.
Disturbingly, this series of events started after the Ridley family began receiving threatening letters, shortly after which their dogs became sick and eventually died. The dogs were diagnosed with poisoning by a vet, and the letters were reportedly sent by the Goldstons.
James Goldston’s employer, Saving Grace animal adoption organization, reacted to these disturbing allegations by releasing a statement on Facebook: “Saving Grace is aware of recent news stories regarding accusations of dogs poisoned in Raleigh. We condemn all forms of animal cruelty. James Goldston has voluntarily resigned, effective immediately, to avoid any distraction from the important work of the organization.”
The Ridley family has been left devastated by the incident. Phillip Ridley shared: “It’s traumatizing. The dog is loving and caring one minute and 12 hours later he can’t get up and seizing and collapsing due to chemicals. I have cried so much, I don’t think I have tears left.”
The couple also voiced their suspicions that the Goldstons, known to poison squirrels with antifreeze, may have indirectly poisoned their dogs through the squirrels.
Jessica Ridley further described their ordeal: “For the past year, over a year, they sent us threatening letters in the mail about our animals and our house. It was a nightmare.”
The Goldstons have since posted a $30,000 bond each and have been directed not to make any contact with the Ridley family. The case continues to unfold, leaving a community in shock and a family in mourning.
While we cannot change the horrific treatment that many animals have already endured in the past, we have the ability to give animals a voice and hold perpetrators accountable for crimes in the present and the future. Many animal abusers are not held accountable by the law, which feeds into this horrific cycle of abuse. You can sign this petition to demand all states make all animal abuse a felony.
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