WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Winston-Salem man is facing animal cruelty charges for killing and torturing animals, according to police.
Police arrested Caleb Daniel Dewald, 19, of Winston-Salem. He's charged with four counts of felony animal cruelty.
Deputies said Crime Stoppers received a tip after they said Dewald trapped, tortured, and killed small animals and then posted videos on social media. Investigators said PETA provided videos showing Dewald killing the animals.
Captain Van Loveland, who is over the Animal Services Division with the Forsyth Sheriff’s Office, said these types of cases are extreme and more rare.
“It’s very heart-wrenching for me. I take my job seriously and even though these are animals and I know there are hunting and things like that, but the treatment we saw in these videos was not for anything of survival or anything like that, and so it was very devastating to me to see the evidence we received in the case, and I’m glad we were able to bring a resolution to it," Loveland said.
Loveland said they were wildlife animals.
“These incidents are very serious and we do take this seriously when we get these tips or this information from individuals, animals are out in the world and unfortunately they can’t defend themselves, and so us, as well as welfare groups are the voice for them and when we receive this information we take it seriously," Loveland said.
PETA is also involved in this case. An emergency response manager told News 2 that Dewald tortured several types of animals, including squirrels, a mouse, and a raccoon.
“We received information from an anonymous tipster regarding some videos that have been shared online apparently showing someone torturing wild animals, drowning them, setting them on fire, stabbing them with a knife, and things of that nature," Kristin Rickman, an Emergency Response Division Manager in PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department said. "These videos are incredibly disturbing and anyone who engages in this kind of behavior is a clear and present danger to the community."
Dewald received a $7,500 secured bond and will appear in court on July 29.