Two charged with animal cruelty and abandonment in the case of 17 cats dumped in Garner, North Carolina

Two people have been charged with animal cruelty and animal abandonment in the case of 17 cats dumped in Garner, North Carolina, which is in Johnston County. This is a followup to the PoC article asking for help in trapping the cats, of whom eight remain missing. Forgive the length of this update, but there’s a lot of information I need to pass along to those who have followed this case from the beginning, as well as another plea for experienced humane cat trappers (join this group if you can ACTIVELY help) as the search continues.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Terry Ray Beasley

Terry Ray Beasley and Tamara PerezLazaro were each charged with 16 counts (the 17th cat wasn’t proven) of animal abandonment and 16 counts of animal cruelty.

Charges against Beasley and PerezLazaro

For anyone interested in attending, their court date is scheduled for January 24. Both have allegedly admitted to their role in leaving the cats without food or water in an unfamiliar place where the cats have faced rain, sleet, ice, snow and below-freezing temperatures since Thanksgiving weekend. Not to mention mental stress, as these were all indoor kitties.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
NC map

NC map showing location.

The original story began on or about December 4, 2016 when Suzy Melton of Suzy’s Zoo Sanctuary for Special Needs Kitties was advised by text message from Terry Beasley, Tamara Lazaro’s cat-hating live in friend, that he gave all her cats away, supposedly to a “foster.”  Suzy immediately realized something was very wrong, and the police were dispatched to the home as Tamara was not responding herself to Suzy’s messages, supposedly sick in bed. As the story proceeded to unfold over the subsequent days, Tamara admitted that Terry had dumped the cats sometime Thanksgiving weekend, with her knowledge but not participation. A preliminary list was furnished, and the search began for the missing cats.

missing cat poster

Things could get interesting in this case, as Tamara ran a “rescue” without having a 501c3 non-profit status. Anyone who believes they donated money under false pretenses and would like to begin a civil case against her is asked to contact their local law enforcement for advice, as it’s alleged she was soliciting funds as though she were a non-profit.The case could turn into internet fraud, and if funds were mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, then mail fraud could be involved. Team Garner, the group who has gone out on a daily (and nightly) basis searching for and trapping the cats, is also considering a civil suit for the cost involved.

missing cat poster

To recap:

9 of the 17 cats have been recovered, of which 5 have found their forever homes and 4 are still accepting interviews. The total has increased to 17 and “Froz” has been added to the outstanding list to be recovered.

8 cats, now including Froz, are still missing. The breakdown is as follows:

MISSING FROZ – Male Neutered Black – This cat is named Froz, although he is NOT microchipped, nor is he from the Cumberland Shelter, we now have a picture and he was one of Tamara’s son’s 3 cats involved in this case.

STILL MISSING A212085 POLLY – Female Polydactile (Extra Toes) Tabico Domestic Short Hair Spayed and Microchipped. Lost Pet Flyer:

STILL MISSING A240721 ACHILLES – Male Brown Tabby DSH Neutered and Microchipped.
Lost Pet Flyer:

STILL MISSING A229247 JADA – FIV + Female Black Domestic Medium Hair Spayed and Microchipped.
Lost Pet Flyer:

STILL MISSING A248512 SASHA – Female Calico Domestic Short Hair Spayed and Microchipped.
Lost Pet Flyer:

STILL MISSING A025370 SUGAR – Declawed Blue Eyed Female White Domestic Long Hair Spayed and Microchipped.
Lost Pet Flyer

STILL MISSING A211927 CHOMPER – Female Domestic Short Hair White and Brown Tabby Spayed and Microchipped but we are missing the #.

STILL MISSING PRISSY – Female Tortie (Spayed ?) but NOT Microchipped. This cat was one of the three cats of Tamara’s sons.

5 Recovered and found their forever homes:

RECOVERED A252154 LOUIE – Male (new name) has been recovered, his chip confirmed and he found his forever home with the family who’s yard he was trapped in ! They completely adore him !

RECOVERED A252820 Unnamed – (Male) Black with gold eyes has been recovered, his chip confirmed and he found his forever home ! We originally thought this was previously one of Tamara’s son’s cats, but sadly this is not Froz, nor do we have any further information or even a picture to add him to our list of remaining cats.

RECOVERED A231305 CHESTER – Fiv+ (Male) has been recovered, his chip confirmed and he found his wonderful forever home in Tennessee, all thanks to Silvia Delespinoza.

RECOVERED A247518 CHEDDAR – Male Neutered has been recovered, his chip confirmed, and he has now found his forever home, thanks to Corina of TARA Rescue who placed him into her Petsmart on Skibo Rd in Fayetteville, NC.

RECOVERED A251728 NEMO – Male Neutered has been recovered, his chip confirmed, and he has now found his forever home, thanks to Corina of TARA Rescue who placed him to PetSmart on Skibo Rd in Fayetteville NC.

4 others Recovered are still accepting interviews for their forever homes:

RECOVERED Bearus – Female Domestic Long Hair Checking on Id Number, is currently in foster care and available for adoption thru Suzanne Suzy Melton. Was one of the three cats of Tamara’s son’s cats.

RECOVERED A240031 WALLY – Declawed Male Black and White 15 lb Neutered and Microchipped and will be available for adoption by contacting Lori Jones Register

RECOVERED A244485 CALI – Female Spayed has been recovered, her chip confirmed, and she is available for adoption. Anyone interested in this lovely girl, should contact, Lori Jones Register who she is in foster care with.

RECOVERED A211711 CLAUDINE – Female Spayed has been recovered, her chip confirmed, and she is available for adoption. Anyone interested in this lovely girl should contact Lori Jones Register, who she is in foster care with.

Although Beasley and PerezLazaro have been charged with “misdemeanors,” according to N.C. law found here they should face felony charges. The law reads

“any animal by intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance, that person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor”  (yet in the summary on the above reference it states this is a Class H felony)

screenshot of NC cruelty laws

Screenshot of NC Cruelty Laws

Be sure to read Article 47. Cruelty to Animals 14-360 which reads

“(c) As used in this section, the words “torture”, “torment”, and “cruelly” include or refer to any act, omission, or neglect causing or permitting unjustifiable pain, suffering, or death. As used in this section, the word “intentionally” refers to an act committed knowingly and without justifiable excuse, while the word “maliciously” means an act committed intentionally and with malice or bad motive.”

Was this a malicious act? It would appear so because it takes an effort to cruelly abandon that many cats. Perhaps a few calls to Johnston County officials explaining animals being abandoned without food, water or shelter falls under a Class H. felony. Click here for phone numbers for the judges as well as the District Attorney.

More information will be posted as it becomes available. Feel free to add additional information in the comments.

A HUGE thank you goes out to those who have worked tirelessly to trap the remaining cats. The searchers have battled the elements, personal illness and critical illness within their immediate family in their efforts to get the remaining cats to safety.


Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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9 Responses

  1. vicky wolf says:

    are you still searching? i wonder how far you are from Waldorf md for me to come down for a day or weekend to help.

  2. Jill Joanides says:

    My heart is breaking. This low life needs to be punished.

  3. Michael says:

    Nice work Elisa. Great job in reporting this. It is astonishing to me how people can behave like this. I hope justice is done. Cats are not infrequently used for profit in one way or another.

  4. Adriana says:

    This is cruelty and should not be allowed he is a disgrace and should be banned for life.

  5. Albert Schepis says:

    Sugar stands out to me. She’s declawed, probably deaf (who would do that to a deaf cat? I had one like that (Polar Bear) and under the BEST conditions he had a miserable life.) AND Sugar white (and in the snow). Great! I’ll be phoning the authorities, as I did about Tiger in Texas. Lastly, for a long time I’ve noted a preponderance of bad news from North Carolina. I may have noticed because I liked the countryside there, but though the cats need help, there are too many other red flags.

  6. Natascha says:

    Mother Nature Put Animals on Earth To Become Family And Anyone Abandoned Or Abuses Them Should Be Abandoned Themselves!

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