Lauderdale Co. couple charged with animal cruelty

Published: May. 30, 2013 at 7:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2013 at 7:59 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Lauderdale County couple faces 14 counts of animal cruelty after community tips led authorities to their home.

It took officials more than three days to capture all the dogs from the residence on County Road 182. Those dogs are being treated for severe mange and worms.

After receiving complaints for people in the community, deputies and volunteers say what they found was devastating.

"We found skeletons - puppy skeletons adult dog skeletons, so these dogs have been there their entire lives. The ones that weren't strong enough to survive just died there," said Debbie Rapphun with the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Shelter.

Officials said 14 dogs were taken from the home. No one lives at the property, so the dogs were left to fend for themselves with an occasional drop of food.

"I hope this will show people out in the community you cannot treat animals this way," said Rapphun. "It is inhumane. These animals, no matter what people say, do have feelings. They hurt, they're in pain, they're starving, they're scared."

The dogs are suffering from severe mange, parasites and heart worms.

"It was devastating just to see pretty much them trying to survive on their own," said vet tech Amber Jackson.

Jackson is currently fostering the youngest of the group. Four-month-old Kinley is at a local vet's office.

"It's heartbreaking to know that people are actually capable of letting animals get in that condition and not try to help them," said Jackson.

"If the first two were spayed and neutered, this would have never have happened," added Rapphun. "There would not have been all this pain, all this abuse, all this neglect."

Officials charged the homeowners, Ronald and Carla Cannon, each with 14 counts of animal cruelty.

"I hope this will set a precedent that people know they can't do this or they will get in trouble," said Rapphun.

The Cannons are expected to be in court on June 20 and could face up to one year in jail.

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