MEMPHIS, TN (WSMV) -- A woman who drove a truck full of dogs and cats from Jackson to a shelter in Memphis has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty.
According to Memphis NBC affiliate WMC, 45-year-old Mary Winstead, in addition to another woman, drove two U-Haul rental trucks full of animals from Jackson to Memphis Tuesday morning.
The suspects reportedly told Memphis Animal Services officials that they were being evicted from their house in Jackson, were moving to Memphis but the house they planned to rent fell through, and so had nowhere to place the animals.
The shelter accepted the dogs and cats, despite a policy to only take in animals from the Memphis area, after shelter staff found that over two dozen dogs and cats were in poor health condition, and found four animals dead in the vehicle.
Staffers said when they opened the trucks the heat poured out, the stench of feces and urine was overwhelming, and the conditions of the animals overall was inhumane.
Memphis Animal Services said that the shelter was already at capacity, and the intake of these near 30 more animals puts the larger breed animals in their care at risk of euthanasia. Officials said the dogs taken in are an adoptable breed.
For the remainder of the month of July adoption fee is only $10.00 at that shelter. Memphis Animal Services is open for adoptions daily from Noon to 4:00pm, and open until 7:00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 2350 Appling City Cove, Memphis, TN 38133. For more information, visit their website.