A couple have been indicted on additional charges connected to the deaths of nine alpacas and one goat on a Walnut Cove farm.
Joey Gray Moser, 39, of the 5300 block of Lake Woussicket Road in Walnut Cove, and Kimberly Dawn Moser, 47, of Routh Road in Burlington, were initially indicted on numerous felony animal-cruelty charges last year. On Monday, a Forsyth County jury handed down indictments on new charges and superseding indictments on older charges.
The indictments accuse the couple of killing or causing to be killed nine alpacas and one goat by the “intentional deprivation of necessary sustenance.” The indictments also allege that the couple maliciously tortured the animals by “permitting unjustifiable pain and suffering.”
The indictments also include misdemeanor charges alleging that Joey Moser and Kimberly Moser failed to bury a dead domesticated animal to a depth of at least three feet beneath the surface of the ground within 24 hours of knowing about the animal’s death.
In total, they each face a total of 30 felony and misdemeanor charges related to the deaths of the alpacas and the goat, according to the indictments.
Alpacas are members of the camelid family and are distinct from llamas. They typically live between 15 and 20 years and are considered domesticated animals, according to the Alpaca Owners Association’s website.
Last year, Lt. David Morris of the Forsyth County Animal Control said animal-control officers were called to 5330 Lake Woussicket Road on Feb. 21, 2018, on a report about dead livestock. Morris said that Joey and Kimberly Moser were charged after an investigation. Morris declined to provide other details.
But according to an affidavit to a search warrant, Deputy G. Lancaster wrote that he went to the property on Feb. 21, 2018 and while standing at a metal gate, he smelled rotting and decaying flesh.
“Entering the gate, I saw the open entrance door on the west side of the above barn,” Lancaster wrote in the search warrant. “The entrance door was open, and I could see multiple dead chickens inside the barn while standing outside.”
Lancaster said he eventually found 11 dead chickens. On another part of the property, he saw a brown-and-black goat lying dead outside the main house, and flies were landing on the goat’s body.
Outside another building, Lancaster wrote he could see eight dead animals that appeared to be goats and alpacas.
“There did not appear to be any food or water inside the building with the dead animals,” he said in the search-warrant request, and he could smell “an odor consistent with decaying flesh.”
Charlie Mellies, an attorney who had represented Joey Moser last year, told the Winston-Salem Journal that the Mosers had been raising alpacas for at least five years. Joey Moser had a full-time job, and Kimberly Moser quit her job to take care of the animals on the farm, he said.
He also said part of the problem is that alpacas don’t often show signs of illness because they are herd animals and they try to look strong for the herd.
Assistant District Attorney Matt Breeding, who is prosecuting the case, said a trial is tentatively scheduled for sometime in August.