Two Sought for 42 Counts of Animal Cruelty in Jackson County - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Two Sought for 42 Counts of Animal Cruelty in Jackson County

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On 8-8-2013, officers from Jackson County Animal Control, members of the 14th Judicial Circuit of the Office of the State's Attorney and deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded to 4381 Francis Drive Marianna, Florida in reference to a report of abandoned animals.

The responding officers determined that the owner of the residence had abandoned approximately forty dogs. The dogs were transported to Animal Control of West Florida, Inc. where they were housed and assessed. The subsequent investigation revealed that the dogs had been living in putrid conditions for an extended amount of time, without adequate nourishment and healthcare and as a result of those conditions; some of the dogs had expired and were being cannibalized as the sole source of food.

A medical examination of the remaining animals revealed numerous health issues, some of which were determined to be life threatening. Investigators were able to identify the owners of the dogs as Heidi Amanda Westman and Lelend Emery Kluth.

On 8-16-2013, investigators were able to secure arrest warrants for the owners of the dogs for 42 counts of animal cruelty. Investigators have been unable to locate Westman and Kluth and have reason to believe that they may have left the immediate area. Sheriff Roberts is requesting anyone who may information as to the whereabouts of Heidi Westman and Leland Kluth, please contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 850-482-9648 or the Jackson County Crime Stoppers at 850-526-5000.

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Information provided by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office

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