Grovetown woman facing 12 counts of animal neglect

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 2, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga--"I screwed up, I screwed up. I hurt these animals and I didn't mean to," says Linda Stone.

Stone is charged with twelve counts of failure to maintain and care for animals. Monday, she was cited by Columbia County's animal control. They say she left a dozen dogs abandoned inside her Harlem mobile home.

"The floors were covered in feces. In some places it was like six inches thick. There was trash and garbage everywhere," animal control director Linda Fulmer told us.

Authorities searched the home on Otis Way after a Jefferson Electric employee reported hearing dogs barking inside the home and noticed the power had been shut off.

"It was 96 degrees inside the house. Outside it was 113.9 when we were there," Fulmer says.

Authorities say they found the dogs inside with little food and water. The animals had to be euthanized because of health problems and unsociable behavior.

Stone now lives in Grovetown. She tells News 12 she was going by the home in Harlem to feed the dogs regularly, but was down on her luck and missed a few days.

"I got swamped, i got overwhelmed. I gave up trying to clean the house after they came in," she told us.

Animal control officials say Stone could have avoided the citations if only she had asked for help.

"We'll make calls to rescue groups or whatever we have to do to help people in these situations. Unfortunately they wait until it gets this bad before we find out about it," Fulmer says.

Stone says she's sorry her neglect caused twelve animals to be put to sleep.

"They didn't do anything wrong, i'm the one who screwed up," Stone says.

Animal Control says Stone could face up to $12,000 in fines or up to six months in jail if found guilty.

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