Reward offered in Jones County animal cruelty case

Four of the abandoned dogs found in the abandoned Jones County home
Four of the abandoned dogs found in the abandoned Jones County home

JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Humane Society is offering a $2500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a woman who is believed to be responsible for abandoning more than 20 dogs inside a home in the Sharon Community.

The Jones County Sheriff's Department has issued a warrant for Linda Walter, 55, of 20 Ten Acre Road.  She is accused of confining the dogs in the home without adequate food or water over a period of months, leading the dogs to turn on each other.  According to neighbors Walter would visit the home every couple of weeks for a period of about 10 minutes each time.

Sixteen dogs were rescued alive from the home by the Humane Society and the sheriff's department.  One died on the way to veterinarian and the other 15 are recovering at the Southern Pines Animal Shelter. According to the sheriff's department official report the dogs were eating each other to survive and there were layers of feces and urine inside the home. Because of the condition of the home, deputies have been unable to count the number of dead dogs, but say there are at least five.

Southern Pines Animal Shelter Assistant Manager Katherine Sammons says most of the dogs are doing well and will be available for adoption in time for Christmas.

"We are in the process of socializing them, They haven't had very much human contact," said Sammons. They are friendly, but they are very scared and timid."

The Jones County Sheriff's Department is currently searching for Walter. When arrested she will be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Anyone who knows her whereabouts is asked to call 601-425-3147.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.