Humane Society of the Delta director facing 285 counts of animal cruelty: Help needed to care for dogs and cats

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The Helena-West Helena Police in Arkansas discovered inhumane conditions at the shelter this week; the director Reta Merritt Roberts has been arrested and charged with 285 counts of aggravated animal cruelty – a Class D Felony.

According to Fox News, authorities were called to the Humane Society of the Delta as staff with the city’s water department had been trying to collect on an outstanding balance of nearly $30,000. When they arrived, officers found several dogs in outdoor wire kennels with rodent holes and acrid odors of feces and urine inside. There was also overflowing garbage and debris around the property.

The following day police stated two volunteers who had worked at the shelter had previously reported witnessing mistreated animals as well as some neglected and others abused by workers. Some of the dogs suffering from heartworms and parvovirus had been sent to other shelters.

A search warrant was executed for the Humane Society of the Delta and Roberts’ mobile home on the property. Authorities discovered 240 dogs and 45 cats – many emaciated and others suffering from open wounds. Some of the animals had been living in their own feces and urine along with rats – both dead and alive.

The Tunica Humane Society posted a plea on their Facebook page, asking for help with the animals at the Humane Society of the Delta for the next few days. The facility has been shut down, and Mayor Smith of Helena will be at the shelter next week. Animal Rescue Corp is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday and will be taking over the care of more than 300 animals currently at the property.

After the animals are assessed, they will be placed with pre-approved placement partners. Until then, however volunteers are needed to provide basic care to the animals. On Saturday, volunteers arrived from the Tunica Humane Society and have been addressing as many of the problem areas as possible.

“There are 3 large buildings full of dogs and cats and countless dogs in pens outdoors. We worked all day on the largest building, washing away weeks and weeks of feces and urine. The dogs were soaked in their own waste. Extremely heartbreaking to witness. At the end of the day, the dogs were so thankful to have a clean, dry bed to lay on. All of our hard work will go to waste if volunteers don’t show up tomorrow, Monday and possibly Tuesday to continue to keep these animals in healthy, clean conditions until ARC arrives. Leslie Galloway with Meals on Wheels in Helena will be the person directing volunteers on Sunday. Please show up and come to work hard. Bring cleaning supplies with you. Extra large garbage bags, clorox spray, blankets, fly spray, treats for the dogs,” the Tunica Humane Society posted on their Facebook page.

Donations are appreciated. Please click here to help.

“Please go to Helena and volunteer at the Humane Society of the Delta tomorrow. They need help on Sunday and Monday, for sure. The shelter is located at 8480 Phillips Road 300, in Helena, Arkansas and was shut down for animal cruelty charges. We showered them with love today and will remember these precious dogs always.”

Tunica Humane Society continues to organize a team of experienced trainers and volunteers that can assist with this urgent need. All of the animals have rescue on the way next week. They just need to be fed and cared for during the transition period. Please call 662-519-1700 if you can help over the next 3-4 days.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook for the latest animal related news.

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