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Lauderdale County Couple Charged with Animal Cruelty

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Courtesy: Florence Animal Shelter

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A husband and wife have been charged with several counts of animal cruelty after authorities say they abandoned their dogs.

Florence Animal Shelter volunteers said at one point, there could have been as many as 30 dogs staying at a vacant residence on County Road 182 for two years.

Volunteers have spent the last few days trying to save the 14 dogs and bring them back to good health. Prosecutors say Ronald Bart Cannon, and his wife, Carla Foxx Cannon, face misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.

“It’s one of the worst cases of animal neglect I have ever seen,” said Debbie Rappuhn, head volunteer at the Florence Animal Shelter.  “You cannot treat animals this way.  It is inhumane. These animals, no matter what people say, they do have feelings. They hurt, they are in pain, they’re starving, and they’re scared.”

Rapphun said many of the dogs are being treated for ticks, fleas, heartworms and mange.

Amber Jackson has taken what they believe to be the worst dog into her care, a 4-month old puppy she has named Kinley.  Jackson explained the puppy has severe mange and has been on an IV for nutrients.

“It’s heart-breaking to know that people are capable of letting animals get in that condition, and not try to help them,” said Jackson.

Rappuhn said there is no excuse for leaving the dogs in these conditions.

She believes the owners moved and simply left them behind, leaving the dogs to scavenge for food the best they could.

“It is so inhumane and callous to treat these animals like this,” Rappuhn said. “I hope that this will set a precedent that people know they can’t do this or they will get in trouble.”

Florence Animal Shelter volunteers say they have found homes for all 14 dogs, and they believe all should fully recover.

The Cannons are scheduled to be in Lauderdale County District Court on June 20.