Animal cruelty bust in Panola County, sheriff’s office says

BATESVILLE, Miss. — When emaciated dogs were found at a home in Panola County recently, the county had a problem.

It has no animal shelter to care for the dogs.

FOX13′s reporter Tom Dees talked to the sheriff, who said he hopes county leaders have a solution soon.

According to Sheriff Shane Phelps, a recent animal cruelty bust left the county wondering where the dogs were going to go.

”It is probably the worst thing he has seen in a long time as far as dogs go and their health,” Phelps said.

The sheriff shared photos of emaciated dogs he said were found Friday on the property of Daniel Beard.

Investigators also found a dead dog on the property.

The 48-year-old has been charged with seven counts of aggravated animal cruelty.

The county had to ask the city of Batesville for room at their shelter.

The case has sparked discussion.

”We are at the point in the county where we will have to have an animal shelter or dog pound or something,” Phelps said.

Phelps said the county has gotten more than 500 animal-related calls this year.

He wants to hire a full-time animal control officer.

He also wants to use a disassembled aircraft hangar as an animal shelter.

”We cannot pick these dogs up and carry them to a facility. The humane society, they have done so much for this county. They are full. They can’t do it anymore. They have dogs that they are picking up and have to keep at their house trying to get them adopted. They are out of the room,” Phelps said.

Phelps said people in the community have offered donations to pay for a shelter.

He said trustees in the county jail could be used to care for the animals.

Phelps told FOX13, that the response so far from county supervisors has been positive.

”They know it’s time to do something. They know it is not a quick fix, but they are hopefully willing to get some pens installed so they are on board,” Phelps said.