By David Howell
TILLATOBA – A Yalobusha County woman is facing 19 counts of animals without food or water and six counts of simple cruelty of dog or cat after allegedly abandoning a large assortment of animals including six dogs, goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, a donkey and other animals.
Sheriff Lance Humphreys reported charges were filed Tuesday morning in justice court on Rebecca Wilson, originally from Grenada, after an investigation revealed the animals had been neglected during the frigid weather in recent weeks. He also reported several of the animals were dead including two goats and a lamb and other animals were near death when deputies responded to the call on County Road 68. Other animals were severely malnourished including two Great Pyrenees dogs.
The sheriff explained that Rebecca Wilson’s husband, Johnny Frank Wilson, became ill in early December and passed away on Dec. 24, and the defendant left the animals.
“Based on evidence we have uncovered in this investigation, it appears the animals received little or no care in December and were completely abandoned in the latter part of the month and early January,” Humphreys said.
Complicating the matter was the defendant allegedly told a nearby family not to come on the property, which prevented others to help care for the animals, according to the sheriff.
“After we got involved neighbors stepped up to help provide care, but they were overwhelmed,” Humphreys said. The sheriff said the concerned citizen that contacted the sheriff’s department reached out to the Second Chance Animal Alliance (SCAA) for help.
“The volunteers with SCAA rescued the animals on January 14,” Humphreys said. “We really appreciate their assistance, this was a pretty big undertaking.”