Photo Credit: 
Carl Lewis | The Chronicle
Timothy Peek, center, is arrested by Fletcher police officers Thursday on a felony charge of cruelty to animals. Peek was Animal Control Officer until his firing by the Fletcher Town Council Wednesday.
Timothy Peek, center, is arrested by Fletcher police officers Thursday on a felony charge of cruelty to animals. Peek was Animal Control Officer until his firing by the Fletcher Town Council Wednesday.

Former Fletcher Animal Control Officer Timothy Peek, 55, of Fletcher, was arrested April 15 on a felony charge of cruelty to animals. The charge is the result of a lengthy criminal investigation by Fletcher police into conditions discovered at the town’s animal shelter on Feb. 15, during a prolonged period of severe weather.

Fletcher Town Council members voted unanimously Wednesday to terminate Peek’s employment with the town of Fletcher, effective immediately. Though Peek’s position as Animal Control Officer was terminated shortly after the February incident came to light, he remained employed by the town of Fletcher’s Public Works Authority. Council members voted Wednesday to terminate his employment entirely.

Four dogs were removed from the shelter Feb. 15 by a Lawton resident alerted to the conditions in which the dogs were being housed by social media posts. That individual later contacted Fletcher Mayor Dick Herrin, who in turn contacted Fletcher police.

A probable cause affidavit filed Thursday in Comanche County District Court alleges that, “During the subsequent investigation, it was discovered that Mr. Peek had not fed or watered the four dogs under his care, nor cleaned the kennel, from 11 February 2021 at 0800 to 15 February 2021 at approximately 1830 hours, for a combined total of 106 hours during which temperatures ranged from a high of 24 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of -5 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The affidavit details evidence observed and collected by Fletcher police during their investigation and subsequent interviews with Peek and several witnesses.

“During Mr. Peek’s interview he admitted that he had materials to reinforce the dog kennel … and that he could have housed the dogs at alternate areas for the duration of the storm,” the affidavit states.

The affidavit indicates Peek told police during an interview that he was unaware of the severity of the coming winter storm, but police say they discovered social media posts made by Peek detailing ways to prepare animal housing for inclement weather and at least one post warning of the storm’s forecasted severity days ahead of the storm’s arrival.

During his arrest by police Thursday, Peek could be heard arguing with officers about his own dog’s care. When Peek asked officers who would care for his dog, one officer asked in reply, “What about those four dogs…”

Before the officer could finish asking about the dogs removed during the storm, Peek interrupted, angrily blurting out, “F**K them dogs!”

Peek was initially held in the Comanche County Detention Center in lieu of $100,000 bond. In a hearing April 16, Peek’s bond was reduced to $20,000. Peek posted bond on April 20 and was released from custody. Peek is prohibited from possessing animals while on bond.

Peek is next scheduled to appear in Comanche County District Court at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 20, 2021.

FLETCHER ACO CHARGED, FIRED