Since January 1, 2013, The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has handled 38 cases involving animal abuse, abandonment and neglect. The Sheriff’s Office has a full time investigator dedicated to these cases. Investigator Breezy Adkinson has over 16 years of law enforcement experience and works extremely close with Walton County Animal Control and Alaqua Animal Refuge. Investigator Adkinson spends a good deal of her time educating owners of domestic pets and livestock on providing medical care, appropriate diet and good living conditions. She follows up on all on-going cases to ensure animal owners are providing the proper care for their animals.
One of the biggest animal cases to date is that of Nancy Payne, 49, who was arrested for 102 felony counts of animal cruelty. This was a lengthy investigation and the Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciates the support of Animal Control and Alaqua Animal Refuge. Alaqua Animal Refuge assisted both agencies by taking in ninety-seven dogs and sixteen horses from the animal cruelty case, which is still ongoing. They have provided protection, shelter and care to these animals. It has been an incredible partnership among the three organizations whose main goal is to care for neglected and abused animals.
In 2013, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office has spent $21,152 dollars in boarding fees and feed and $3,393 dollars for veterinary fees and medicine. The majority of the money has gone to support Alaqua Animal Refuge in helping with the recovery process for the animals involved with the Sheriff’s Office criminal cases.
(Photos L to R: Investigator Breezy Adkinson, Jon Dalton/Animal Control and Laurie Hood/Alaqua Animal Refuge Founder. Second line of photos is of “Noble” who was rescued and arrived at Alaqua Animal Refuge with a significant wound on his leg and is now healed)