Woman faces animal cruelty charges in ‘heartbreaking’ case

PRATTVILLE — An Autauga County woman faces half a dozen cruelty to animal charges in what the sheriff calls a “heartbreaking” case.

Linda Thomas McDonald, 67, of  County Road 39, faces six misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, courthouse records show. She was released Wednesday after posting bonds totaling $18,000. She could not be reached for comment, and jail records show she doesn’t have an attorney.

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The dogs suffered from “severe” mange and a scabies infestation, said Sheriff Joe Sedinger.

“It’s horrible the shape these dogs are in,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking. This is the worst case of neglect I’ve ever seen.”

Five of the six dogs are in such poor shape, they were set to be euthanized Wednesday, upon recommendation from a veterinarian, said Claudia Risgby, director of the Prattville-Autauga Humane Shelter. The dogs were taken to the shelter after they were seized by deputies.

“They are suffering horribly,” she said, Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office confirmed  that the five dogs had been put down.

Shelter officials felt the sixth dog, who was in better shape than the others, possibly could be saved. However, that dog had to be euthanized Thursday due to scabies infestation, the sheriff’s office said

Photos taken by the sheriff’s office animal control officer show five dogs with no hair at all. It’s impossible to distinguish the breed of the dogs from the photos. One photo shows a dog with no hair, covered in scabs and open, running sores.

Deputies arrived at the address about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday to serve a search warrant in an unrelated case. The dogs were found in a “small, camper trailer,” Sedinger said.

“There’s no way she could have not known these dogs were in such bad shape,” he said. “I just can’t understand how someone could let animals get like this.”

 

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