PETA lawyer files private warrant against Lazy 5 owner

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 30, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
SALISBURY — A representative of a well-known animal rights group filed a private warrant on animal cruelty against the owner of Lazy 5 Ranch.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Sifford said the warrant, which named ranch owner Henry Hampton, did not include any criminal investigation.
The warrant was filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) litigation counselor Amanda Schwoerke.
In the misdemeanor criminal summons, Schwoerke alleges that Hampton “willfully did intentionally torment an animal, a giraffe at the Lazy Five Ranch.”
The warrant also listed Brenda Kirby, of Mt. Hope Church Road, as a witness.
Deputies delivered the criminal summons about 8 p.m. on Thursday. Although technically an arrest, a summons does not require Hampton to appear before a magistrate.
The warrant is the latest in a series of accusations about the treatment of Lazy 5 Ranch’s animals.
In August, PETA issued a press release stating that Hampton failed to “provide adequate veterinary care to a young giraffe with severely overgrown hooves” and allowed the animal to “languish in this paintful damaging condition for more than nine months.”
A ranch employee countered by saying that the young giraffe was “showing progress” and giraffes at the ranch walk on gravel and limestone to trim their hooves naturally.
Earlier this month, PETA sent letters to school superintendents urging them not to take students to the ranch after Lazy 5 was named the top school field trip destination in an annual survey.