A Wayne County woman has been charged with cruelty to animals second degree, after local authorities and Animal Rescue Corps executed a search warrant at a residence on Whiteway Inn Road on Thursday, September 19. Officials said that a total of 122 animals, the majority were dogs, and were rescued from the residence.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department reported that cats and birds were also rescued from the residence. Clara Preat, 61, was arrested on a warrant for cruelty to animals second degree.
Animal Rescue Corps, headquartered in Washington, D.C., brought numerous volunteers and veterinarians to the residence on Thursday to head up the effort. They reported that the animals were living in neglectful conditions at the home.
A variety of small breed dogs, including new born litters, were found crowded into small, dilapidated outdoor wire and wood hutches and pens encrusted with urine and excessive piles of feces, according to reports from Animal Rescue Corps.
The dogs, the majority of which were underweight, were suffering from severe eye infections, significant fur loss and matting, urine-soaked fur and extreme internal and external parasites, such as fleas.
Rescuers also stated that the parrots were living in similar conditions, with their cages and food bowls also covered in feces. All animals lacked adequate living conditions, socialization and veterinary care.
“Animals have been suffering from various untreated illnesses on this horrendous property for more than a decade. The conditions were very typical of a puppy mill,” said Animal Rescue Corps President Scotlund Haisley. “A lot of suffering ended here today and I commend Wayne County Animal Control, Sheriff’s Office, and County Attorney for acting quickly and working with Animal Rescue Corps to shut this place down.”
This case began when Animal Rescue Corps received a tip concerning the alleged abuse of the dogs. Documentation brought by Animal Rescue Corps to Wayne County Animal Control revealed several violations of county and state cruelty codes.
“Wayne County takes allegations of animal cruelty very seriously,” said Wayne County Sheriff Charles Boston. “These animals needed our help immediately so we didn’t hesitate to accept the assistance of Animal Rescue Corps and take action.”
All animals were removed from the property and transported to an emergency shelter set up for this rescue, dubbed Operation Unbridled Spirit, in Lebanon, Tennessee about 40 minutes east of Nashville.
Each animal received a thorough veterinary exam, appropriate vaccinations, and any necessary medical treatment.
Animal Rescue Corps will provide daily care until the court determines custody of the animals.
If the animals are awarded to Animal Rescue Corps, they will be placed with shelter and rescue organizations that will ultimately adopt them into loving homes.
The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a report of shots fired into a residence on the Sally Burnett Road on Sunday, September 22. No one was injured.
Deputy Jason Phillips stated that three rounds were apparently fired into the residence of Jessica Dobbs and Josh Keith at approximately 9:10 p.m. Five people were at the residence, including two adults and three juveniles, ages five, six and 14, at the time of the incident. The residence is owned by Susan Morris.
Phillips said that one shot entered the living room of the residence just above the head of one of the juveniles. The other shot entered a bedroom where the other juvenile was located.
The shots appeared to have been fired from a 9mm handgun, according to Phillips. He stated they were possibly fired from a moving vehicle that was passing the residence.
Anyone with any information should contact the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department at (606) 348-5416.
County tax rates will remain the same in 2013, following action taken by Wayne County Fiscal Court during a special meeting held Tuesday, September 17.
Wayne County Judge-Executive Greg Rankin recommended that the court keep the tax rates the same as the previous year.
The tax rate for real property will remain at 12.6 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value. That is significantly less than the compensating rate of 14.5 cents which the court opted not to take.
The rate for personal property will remain at 33.25 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value.
The court opted not to take the compensating rate for personal property which was 39.62 cents.
The tax rate for motor vehicles will remain at 10.2 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value.
“This is good news for the people of Wayne County,” stated Rankin. “While some counties across the state have been raising taxes and cutting services, here in Wayne County, we are able to continue providing the services our citizens expect without taking more of their hard earned money through tax increases. We take our responsibility to the taxpayers of Wayne County very seriously and will continue making sure county government lives within it means, just like everyone else has to do.”
Also during the meeting, magistrates approved 2013 tax rates set for all local taxing districts.
The action is required before local tax bills can be printed and mailed to residents.