An investigation in Jones County is underway after nearly 100 animals were seized from a property on Lyon Ranch Road.
While details surrounding the situation are scarce, the Humane Society of the U.S. has stated that more than 65 dogs and 30 cats have been rescued from the scene after a search warrant was executed on the 161-acre property after an anonymous tip was called into the department.
The HSUS stated that the animals appeared to suffer from a lack of veterinary care and were housed in conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations.
“It’s probably one of the worst things that we, and all of those are here, have ever seen,” Sheriff Alex Hodge said.
The tip was placed a few months ago, and in a Facebook video, Sheriff Hodge stated that they were unaware of the “gross negligence and cruel animal abuse” that was taking place. Allyson Knotts, a spokeswoman for the Jones County Sheriff’s Department, said that they are still in the early stages of their investigation and more information will continue to come out in the coming days.
Multiple agencies are involved in the investigation and the rescue efforts including the Humane Society, the Jones County Sheriff’s Department, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and Southern Cross Animal Rescue. So far, no arrests have been announced relating to the case.
The HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team is safely transporting the animals to a temporary emergency shelter in a nearby location, where they will be examined by a veterinarian and receive any necessary immediate medical treatment. RedRover responders will be assisting in the caretaking of the animals at the temporary shelter.
During the 2018 legislative session, bills which sought to increase penalties against anyone convicted of animal abuse in Mississippi died in the committee stage.