Limestone County woman faces animal cruelty charge

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ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) - This story is about as heartbreaking as it is disturbing, and if you watch the video we would warn you right off the top, some of the images you'll see are very upsetting. It has to do with an animal cruelty case in Limestone County. There has been an arrest. Here are the details.

We're told when Limestone County Sheriff's deputies responded to what was originally an animal neglect call, they were unprepared for what they would find. The former resident, Hanna Ray, would be arrested and charged not with neglect but with animal cruelty.

In the video, you can see the dog pens on the side and towards the rear of the house here on Highway 99 in the West Limestone community that Hanna Ray allegedly moved away from back in December -- just leaving her two dogs tied up in the yard. Neighbors across the street knew about the one in the front and came over and fed that animal,  but the one in the back they didn't know about. When deputies found her, she was barely alive.

Amanda Wright says when the other dog came crawling out, they couldn't believe their eyes. She snapped some pictures with her cell phone before calling the sheriff's office.

"I almost started crying. I was like oh good Lord it's been sitting here, and I felt so bad because we've been over here. If we'd knew it was like, had been like that, we'd been over there feeding it," Amanda explained.

Both dogs were taken to the Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter.  The small dog that was in the front has been adopted out to a loving family.  The other dog, unfortunately she didn't make it.

Veterinarian Dr. R.E. Pitman says the larger dog weighed 21 pounds when it arrived at the shelter. He says it should have weighed 55 to 60 pounds. It died with hours of getting to the shelter.

"If you're in a situation where you can't care for your animals, bring them to the animal shelter here in Athens, if you live in Limestone County. There are people ready, willing and able to help in situations like this. It's never too dire and never so bad that you cannot find help for these animals," Pitman told WHNT News 19.

Hanna Ray was arrested this week and released on a $750 bond. She is scheduled for an arraignment hearing next month.