Closings and delays

Former Guilford/Davidson Co. animal shelter director, employees indicted for cruelty to animals

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The former director of the Guilford and Davidson animal shelters and two former employees have been indicted for cruelty to animals.

According to the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, a Grand Jury handed down indictments Tuesday against the former Davidson County Shelter director Marsha Mayo Williams, and two other employees with United Animal Coalition, which took over shelter operations in December from the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. Williams is also the former Guilford County Animal Shelter director.

Williams, 55; Dana Lenelle Williams-King, 35; and Marissa Lea Studivent, 42, all of Guilford County, were indicted for cruelty to animals. Williams was also indicted on four additional charges of obstructing an investigation and possessing a controlled substance.

The indictments stem from allegations that the employees purposely tortured an injured dog by leaving it in a kennel without treatment in May. The dog was eventually euthanized after laying untreated with what appeared to be a broken back.

Suspicious regarding that dog led to an investigation by Lexington police in June that expanded into state and federal investigations into both shelters.

At the time of the investigation, the United Animal Coalition’s operation of the Guilford County shelter came under scrutiny, leading to Williams’ dismissal as the director there.

Further charges “have been discussed,” District Attorney Gary Frank told the Lexington Dispatch.

Warrants have not been served yet.