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Cattle dog abusers appear in court

Two Pearl River County residents who were arrested on animal abuse charges in October appeared in the Pearl River County Justice Court on Tuesday.

Lynne Hackney, 57, and her husband Miles Allen, 56, were each charged with two counts of simple animal cruelty after more than 70 dogs were found living in deplorable conditions at their residence on East Canal Street in Picayune.

Lt. Joe Quave with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department said Hackney and Allen each pleaded guilty to their charges, and both were subsequently fined $483. Quave said that the fines have settled the matter with the county.

“State law specifically prohibits charging per dog in this instance,” said Quave.

The animal cruelty statute in the Mississippi Code states that simple cruelty committed against one or more dogs or cats shall be treated as one offense if the alleged acts occurred at the same time. This applied to Hackney and Allen’s case, which is why they could not be charged for each of the dogs they owned.

Hackney and Allen were arrested after more than 70 dogs were recovered from a residence on East Canal Street. An unventilated shed in the backyard housed most of the dogs, all of which were found lying or standing in their own waste. Some of the dogs were in such bad health that they could barely walk.

Hackney and Allen were later tied to an incident that occurred two weeks prior that involved the animals living in what seemed to be an abandoned home on Sycamore Road.

Quave said the only reason Hackney and Allen could be charged twice is because the abuse took place in two separate locations – one on East Canal Street, and the other on Sycamore Road in Carriere.

Chargers were also placed against the couple by the Picayune Police Department for the East Canal Street incident.

It is unclear whether charges placed against them by the city of Picayune have been adjudicated.