Can you believe it? :yikes: LINKY Appeals court hears PETA case Pair dumped euthanized dogs in 2005 Titan Barksdale, Staff Writer In a case that grabbed national headlines, 16 dogs were found dead in a Dumpster outside of a Piggly Wiggly in Ahoskie, and police arrested two unlikely people: animal rights workers. Adria Hinkle and Andrew Cook, former workers with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, were charged with animal cruelty in 2005. The two have since been cleared of the most serious charges. Their attorneys argued Wednesday at the N.C. Court of Appeals that they should get a new trial on their convictions of littering for dumping the dogs. Hinkle and Cook drove to Ahoskie after euthanizing the dogs as part of their duties at a Windsor animal shelter. Ahoskie police caught them when they dumped a trash bag filled with the dead dogs. At trial, the judge dropped most of the charges. A Hertford County jury convicted them of littering. Gordon Widenhouse Jr., an attorney for Hinkle and Cook, said they weren't guilty of littering because the dead dogs were placed in a Dumpster. Catherine Jordan, an assistant attorney general, contended that a Dumpster is not covered under the state's litter law, which says that litter must be placed in a receptacle. She said there is a distinction between Dumpster and receptacle. "A litter receptacle is smaller than a Dumpster," Jordan said. The judges pressed Jordan to further explain the difference between a receptacle and a Dumpster. Judge John Arrowood, one of three judges hearing the case, asked whether prosecutors made a mistake by bringing the litter charge against the workers. "Didn't the DA [district attorney] try this on the wrong theory?" Arrowood asked. Widenhouse said a more appropriate charge would have been trespassing because the former workers didn't have permission to dump the dead dogs in the Dumpster. "The word 'receptacle' is perhaps the broadest possible word to say what litter can be put in," Widenhouse said. Hinkle and Cook no longer work for PETA, their attorneys said. The attorneys would not comment further about their employment. Judges could decide the case in the next few months.