The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 30, 2002; 10:34 AM
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. –– Members of a Wake Forest University fraternity were charged with animal cruelty and abandonment after a drunk, dehydrated and sunburned pig was found unconscious in a park.
Wake Forest spokesman Kevin Cox said the university's dean of students is investigating and could impose fines or suspensions against the fraternity.
The 23 members of Sigma Phi Epsilon could be sentenced to 90 days in jail if convicted on a misdemeanor such as animal cruelty.
County officials said the fraternity members rented a picnic shelter at Tanglewood Park for a party thrown April 20 by newly initiated members in honor of more senior fraternity members.
Animal-control officers were called the next morning after the nearly 200-pound pig was found in the woods by a couple walking their dog. The pig was missing its tail and was unable to stand. Park officials said the animal was drunk.
"It reeked of alcohol," said Barbara Cassidy, the director of Forsyth County Animal Control. "That pig could have easily died. I don't understand how someone could think it would be fun to abuse an animal like that."
The dehydrated hog had patches on its skin where it was burned while being exposed to heat lamps used as props at the party, Cassidy said.
Animal control officers took the ailing animal to the county animal shelter, where it is recuperating.
© 2002 The Associated Press