Pet Owner Cited For Animal Cruelty

Smithfield Police have charged a man with animal cruelty after he allegedly left his dog unattended in his vehicle for an extended period of time while he was inside Walmart.

Officers were called to the parking lot of Walmart at 1299 N. Brightleaf Boulevard at 3:39pm Tuesday after someone spotted a dog allegedly in distress inside an unattended vehicle that was not running.  Police said the dog, which did not have any access to water, was in obvious distress and was removed from the vehicle.

Police said the pet owner was inside Walmart for at least one hour, possibly longer.

Todd James Lee Jr., 32, of Havelock was cited for misdemeanor animal cruelty. He was released at the scene pending a June 10th appearance in Johnston County District Court.