Corapeake, NC -- Four former lab workers captured on a video as they interacted with dogs, cats and rabbits at a testing lab in Gates County have been indicted on felony animal cruelty charges.
Gates County District Attorney Frank Parrish said Christine Clement and Tracy Small were indicted on two counts each of cruelty to animals, while Jessica Detty and Mary Ramsey were each indicted on five counts of the same charge. Parrish said the grand jury handed down the indictments Tuesday.
The charges follow the release of a videotape provided by an undercover PETA worker that showed animals being hit, kicked and thrown.
Messages left for the four workers were not immediately returned Wednesday.
PETA lab investigator Kathy Guillermo called it a groundbreaking case for animal rights.
Professional Laboratory and Research Services, Inc in Corapeake halted its research and surrendered all of its more than 200 animal subjects after a USDA investigation.
19 of the animals from the lab were sent to the Guilford County Animal Shelter, including 15 beagles and 4 cats. The animals were adopted out after rehabilitation and retraining.