On the morning of August 16th (yesterday), investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office arrested Nancy Payne, 49, of 1426 JW Hollington Road, Freeport, for one count of felony animal cruelty. A search warrant was executed later in the day at the location with the assistance of the Walton County Animal Control and Alaqua Animal Refuge. A total of 6 horses and 97 dogs were seized and Alaqua Animal Refuge took the malnourished animals until placement can be found. The investigation has been ongoing since April 2013 and more charges are pending. Workers at the refuge have been busy treating, bathing and vaccinating the abused and neglected animals.
The dogs are taking up all their available space, including both the dog and cat infirmaries and quarantine areas.
None of the animals can be adopted until the case is resolved.
The refuge is seeking donations to offset the costs of medical care to treat the animals. More information on how to help can be found at alaquaanimalrefuge.org.
The Northwest Florida Daily News' Lauren Reinle contributed to this story.