Bay Springs woman pleads guilty to 11 counts of animal cruelty

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Bay Springs woman appeared in Hattiesburg Municipal Court Thursday facing 11 counts of animal cruelty.

Fifty two year old Patsy Payton was arrested in August by Hattiesburg Police accused of tying 11 shepard mix puppies to the gate of the Southern Pines Animal Shelter in July while the shelter was closed. Payton used baling wire around the puppies necks and zip ties. In their struggles to free themselves over night one of the puppies died and the other 10 were seriously injured and had to be euthanized.

Thursday in court Payton was ordered to pay $1,100 in restitution to the shelter and have all her current pets spayed or neutered. She has six months to pay the restitution.

"We get animal cruelty calls here every single day," said Lara Hudson, Shelter Manager. "I'm hoping that with the new law in place that the county sheriff departments and other agencies investigate this and let us know if there is anything we can do to prosecute animal cruelty in our area because it is significant."

Under the new state law anyone who intentionally harms a dog or a cat can be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

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