Additional charges pressed
Friday two people living in Picayune, 57-year-old Lynne Hackney and her husband 56-year-old Miles Allen, were arrested by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department at a home located at 2202 E. Canal St., for two counts each of simple animal cruelty, according to a previous story in the Item. The second count deals with similar conditions found at a Sycamore Road home where the dogs were found weeks prior. According to state law, animal cruelty charges can only be placed once per incident, not per animal.
Earlier this month the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department was called to the house on Sycamore Road in reference to a number of animals living inside the house that appeared to not to be occupied by people, although the power was on and window air conditioning units were keeping the inside cool.
The dogs were then moved to a new location, the previous story states.
Law enforcement officials would later find the same dogs living in worse conditions at the East Canal Street home, previous coverage states.
Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said he went to the Picayune home to deal with an initial complaint at the Canal Street residence, finding more than 50 dogs living in deplorable conditions. Magri said he gave Hackney time to fix the city’s ordinance violations, one of which states a resident can have no more than six animals per household.
Last Friday her time was up. After they were arrested by the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for the two counts of simple animal cruelty the Picayune Police Department placed 249 of their own charges against Hackney and Allen. Magri said each were charged with one count of simple animal cruelty, 62 counts of no proof of rabies vaccination, 62 counts of keeping more than six animals at a residence, 62 counts of failure to comply with animal sanitation regulations and 62 counts of animal waste violations. Bond was set at $124,500 per suspect. Magri said they have since bonded out.
Sunday the city’s court held a hearing that granted the Pearl River County SPCA custody of the seized dogs for 14 days, of which the suspects have 5 days to appeal. Magri said the couple has indicated to the police department that they intend to appeal the court’s decision, but court records show an appeal has yet not been filed.
Monday about 13 dogs remaining at the Canal Street home were taken to the animal shelter when family members of the suspects attempting to help care for the animals determined they were unable, Magri said.
This case has sparked an outpouring of assistance. Magri said the Picayune Police Officer’s Association donated 250 pounds of dog food to the shelter to help feed the animals.
PRCSPCA Community Outreach Coordinator Rhonda Furby said the Road Warrior Australian Cattle Dog Rescue organization bought lunch for shelter staff over the weekend.
And Friday three members of the PRCSPCA helped load the dogs on to trailers to bring them from the home on Canal Street to the shelter. Magri said the kind-hearted women were Maria Beech, Debi Necaise and Judy Wheaton.
The shelter is still looking for donations of time and money to help care for the dogs. To donate call the shelter at 601-798-8000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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