Lexington woman accused of locking dog with broken back in crawlspace due in court Tuesday

Piedmont Triad News

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — A woman facing a felony charge for not treating her severely injured dog is headed to court on Tuesday amid public outcries for her punishment.

Isabel Salgado Perez, 27, of Lexington, is charged with ignoring orders to get veterinary care for her dog after it was struck by a vehicle and hiding the dog under her house.

She was arrested on Oct. 27 and freed on a $1,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Davidson County District Court.

In the arrest report and her court release document, her name was listed as Isabel Perez Salgado, but a woman who answered the phone number listed on the arrest warrant told WGHP her last name was “Perez” and answered to “Isabel.” She said she didn’t speak English.

A message left at the law office of attorney Ryan Addison in Mocksville, which Perez’s husband said would be representing her, on Monday afternoon did not receive an immediate call back.

E. Hernandez of the Lexington Police Department wrote in the arrest warrant that Perez didn’t take her dog to a vet when she was told to do so by Lexington Animal Control after the dog’s back was broken. The report says Perez locked the dog inside a crawlspace without food or water.

The dog, which was named Nina, had been taken into care by the Davidson County Animal Alliance and euthanized on Oct. 26.   

Lexington Animal Control Officer Nelson Wagner also was named on the arrest warrant as an investigator. A call to him requesting more background information was referred to the publicist for the city of Lexington. Emailed questions have drawn no response.

Perez is charged with a Class H felony, which is punishable in North Carolina by a sentence of 4 to 25 months in state prison and possible fines.

Davidson County District Attorney Gary Frank said he doesn’t expect any disposition of the case on Tuesday. He said he did not know who might be representing Perez.

Animal abuse cases involving multiple animals tend to get the most notoriety, but Frank said his office had prosecuted felonies for abuse of a single animal, too.

“The charges are based on how the animal is treated,” he said. He couldn’t answer what percentage of those felony convictions might have been given jail time, but “some are [given prison sentences],” he said.

Perez’s case – and Frank’s office by extension – has been the focus of a social media campaign by the Davidson County Animal Alliance, a nonprofit that supports pet adoptions and fostering programs.

The Animal Alliance posted on its Facebook page:

We are asking that each of you to take a few minutes out of your day today, to write Davidson County District Attorneys office of Garry Frank, and demand that he hold Isabel Salgado Perez accountable for her actions PER THE LAW. Ms. Perez committed (per NC G.S. 14-630 (B)), a class H felony when she held Nina in the crawl space of her house without food or water all while Nina was suffering from severe injures after being hit but a car. Nina laid under the house in pain for nearly 2 weeks while Ms. Perez was going about her daily routine just above her.

We urge you to write Mr. Frank, and let him know that we are demanding justice for Nina, and for all the other animals who have been abused before her, and their abusers who have gone free and not been held accountable with appropriate punishments.

The buck STOPS here! We the people will no longer tolerate this type of behavior, abuse, and animal neglect in Davidson County. There should no more deals for people who commit crimes against animals.

The Alliance cited the $1,000 bond for Perez and said that was less than the organization had spent for diagnosis and care for Nina before she was euthanized.

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