Couple charged with animal cruelty after 69 dogs, 1 cat seized from Pass Christian home
Several of the animals seized were pregnant. One already gave birth to nine puppies Friday morning.
PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. (WLOX) - A Pass Christian couple each face 70 counts of cruelty to animals after 69 dogs and one cat were seized from a home on East Second Street.
Ethel Ross, 56, and her husband Richard Ross, 68, were each given a $3,500 bond after being charged and taken to the Harrison County Adult Detention Center.
Thursday afternoon, the police department received an anonymous tip of a suspicious odor coming from the home, which caused officers to take a look. Police Chief Daren Freeman said after officers observed the home, they came back with a search warrant and discovered the animals in “rough condition.”
“There was feces all over the residence and it appeared that the animals haven’t been outside at all,” said Freeman.
“Its horrific. I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. We are thoroughly investigating it and we take all incidents like this very serious.”
Right next door was a family, renting out an Airbnb. John Hendry said he didn’t see or smell the animals during his family’s stay, but he definitely heard them.
“You could hear the dogs barking. Sometimes it was kind of intense like, ‘Wow there’s a lot of dogs.’ We were thinking maybe three or four dogs going at it,” said Hendry.
“I’m glad something got done. Yeah, 60 dogs in a house without being out regularly is terrifying. Actually a little horrific.”
Chief Freeman said it took hours for Pass Christian Police, the Pass Christian Fire Department, the Long Beach Police Department, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, and Humane Society of South Mississippi to get the animals to safety. They’re now being cared for by workers and volunteers at HSSM.
According to a Facebook post by HSSM, several of the animals they took in were pregnant, and one already gave birth to nine puppies Friday morning.
“As the Pass Christian case is currently an ongoing investigation, HSSM cannot respond to any specifics regarding the animals, but rest assured that they are all receiving love and medical care by HSSM’s dedicated team of staff members,” the post read.
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