Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18232
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Sunday, Jul 10, 2011

County: Forrest

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Patsy Payton

Case Updates: 4 update(s) available

An employee of the Southern Pines Animal Shelter arrived at work Monday morning and found 11 Shepard mix puppies tied to the gate.

Surveillance video at the shelter showed a woman taking two puppies at a time by the neck from her vehicle and using zip ties and baling wire to tie them to the fence. The zip ties had been tightened around their neck.

The puppies apparently struggled to free themselves throughout the night.

Shelter employee Elizabeth Swann said one of the puppies hanged itself during the night, and the other 10 had to be euthanized because of the injuries sustained from being tied to the fence.

"(They) had their collars embedded so far into their necks that they weren't savable," she said.

Shelter manager Lara Hudson has filed an official complaint with the Hattiesburg Police.

"It is just gut wrenching to see this happen to the most innocent animals," said Hudson. "These pets, domestic animals shouldn't be treated in this manner. It's now a crime in the State of Mississippi to commit animal cruelty."

HPD spokesman Lt. Eric Proulx said the report is currently filed as a misdemeanor animal cruelty charge, but that the report has yet to be officially approved.

He said the report states that a white female with brown hair who is approximately 250 pounds was seen on the tape tying the puppies to the fence.

The misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Hattiesburg Police at (601) 544-7900 or Metro Crimestoppers at (601) 582-7867 (STOP).

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Hattiesburg Police
(601) 544-7900

Case Updates

A Bay Springs woman appeared in Hattiesburg Municipal Court Thursday facing 11 counts of animal cruelty.

Fifty two year old Patsy Payton was arrested in August by Hattiesburg Police accused of tying 11 Shepard mix puppies to the gate of the Southern Pines Animal Shelter in July while the shelter was closed. Payton used baling wire around the puppies necks and zip ties. In their struggles to free themselves over night one of the puppies died and the other ten were seriously injured and had to be euthanized.

Thursday in court Payton was ordered to pay $1100 in restitution to the shelter and have all her current pets spayed or neutered. She has six months to pay the restitution.

She was sentenced to one month of jail time for each count. Her sentence was suspended, according to Hattiesburg Police Department spokesman Lt. Eric Proulx.

"We get animal cruelty calls here every single day," said Lara Hudson, Shelter Manager. "I'm hoping that with the new law in place that the county sheriff departments and other agencies investigate this and let us know if there is anything we can do to prosecute animal cruelty in our area because it is significant."

Under the new state law anyone who intentionally harms a dog or a cat can be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Source: - Oct 21, 2011
Update posted on Oct 21, 2011 - 4:07PM 
Under a new state law, a Bay Springs woman arrested Monday for 11 counts of animal cruelty in Hattiesburg may be charged with a new offense.

Patsy Payton, 52, was taken into custody after detectives investigating the crime received tips in regards to the video from the Southern Pines Animal Shelter. The new law means she could be charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

The Hattiesburg Police Department "would like to thank all of those persons in the media who brought attention to this case, and all of the citizens who contacted Metro Crimestoppers to identify the woman."

The Mississippi Dog and Cat Protection Law passed in April. Under the new law, simple cruelty is no longer limited to beating, killing, maiming or poisoning. It now includes intentionally or with criminal negligence wounding, depriving of adequate shelter, food and water, carrying or confining in a cruel manner any domesticated dog or cat. Aggravated cruelty now includes torture, mutilation, maiming, burning, starving and disfigurement. The fine is now $5,000 and jail time up to 5 years.
Source: - Aug 5, 2011
Update posted on Aug 5, 2011 - 8:30PM 
Hattiesburg police have arrested a Bay Springs woman on 11 counts of animal cruelty following a June 10 incident at the Southern Pines Animal Shelter.

Patsy Payton, 52, was arrested today and charged with tying 11 shepherd mix puppies to the fence surrounding the shelter late one night.

Shelter employee Elizabeth Swann said one of the puppies hanged itself during the night, and the other 10 had to be euthanized because of the injuries sustained from being tied to the fence.

"We showed up for work at 7:30 in the morning," Swann said. "They had been tied with plastic twine - each and every one of them had it tied around their neck tight to the fence."

Shelter manager Lara Hudson said she had to euthanize the other 10 puppies the next day.

"(They) had their collars embedded so far into their necks that they weren't savable," she said.
Hudson said the woman who tied the puppies to the fence was caught on videotape.

A Hattiesburg Police Department press release said the investigation of tips from Metro Crime Stoppers led to Payton's arrest.
Source: - Aug 1, 2011
Update posted on Aug 2, 2011 - 12:35AM 
A Hattiesburg citizen donated a $1,000 reward to Metro Crime Stoppers for tips leading to the arrest of the woman who tied 11 puppies to a fence at Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg last week.

Authorities are calling this incident one of the worst cases of animal cruelty in the metro area. One of the puppies hanged itself during the night, and the other 10 had to be euthanized because of the injuries sustained from being tied to the fence.

"I think the whole community is still in shock over the horrible treatment of those poor puppies," said Diane James, Metro Crime Stoppers coordinator. "I've gotten several calls from people who love animals and they're just sick over this."

James said the donor, who wished to remain anonymous, offered a statement.

"It is important for people to know that there are organizations, processes and people (who) can help in situations like this one," the statement read. "This reward will hopefully find the person responsible, let them know this is not the proper way to handle situations like this one and encourage others to treat our animal friends with more kindness and respect."

James said she hoped the donation would help bring the culprit to justice.

"I believe (this) will encourage someone to come forth with information that will lead police to this person," James said. "We appreciate the generosity of the person who donated this money."
Source: - Jul 20, 2011
Update posted on Jul 20, 2011 - 8:33PM 


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