Animals Seized in Preston

Officials in Kemper County updated the number of animals being seized from Raven's Hope Animal Sanctuary in Preston, Miss., to more than 160 late Tuesday.

Many of the animals appeared malnourished. Feces, discarded boxes and garbage were found piled on floors and furniture inside the house on Highway 495 where the owner, Virginia Robinson, also lived.

More than two dozen people from the Humane Society of the United States conducted the seizure in cooperation with the Kemper County Sheriff's Department.

Officials with the Kemper County Sheriff's Department, the Mississippi Animal Rescue League, and Humane Society of the United States conducted the seizure of mostly dogs and a few cats.

An estimated 100 animals were seized. County officials and others with the Mississippi Rescue League say this is one of the worst cases of animal neglect they've ever seen.

"She has about 3.5 acres here, and all around, inside the house, behind the house, down this side of the house, some of the animals are all up in the woods," said Sheriff James Moore.

"She considered it a non-profit rescue," said Deborah Boswell, executive director of the MARL. "And I'm sure that the donors would be absolutely appalled that they were sending money to support a situation where so many animals are suffering and have such inadequate care."

Because of the high cost of the seizure, county and state officials say they called on the Humane Society of the United States to help in this endeavor. More than two dozen volunteers and workers took part in the seizure process.

For the time being, the animals are being kept at an undisclosed area.

During this time the owner, Virginia Robinson, may petition for a hearing to determine whether or not she can retrieve the animals.

Robinson was charged Tuesday with disorderly conduct. But officials say animal cruelty charges could also be filed soon. Animal cruelty is a misdemeanor in Mississippi.

For several years, Raven's Hope has been one of two agencies that organize pet adoptions at Petco in Meridian on Saturdays. The East Mississippi Animal Rescue League is the other.

Tuesday, Petco officials said the store has severed all ties with the organization, and called the situation quote "terrible".

Store employees say they had never seen any problems with the animals that were brought to the store for adoption.

Do you think crimes against animals should be felonies, rather than misdemeanors?


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  • by anonymous Location: Meridian on May 13, 2010 at 09:02 AM
    I hope the judge takes whatever legal means necessary to give this woman and her associates in animal cruelty the maximum consequences for their crimes. I also hope someone gives her a copy of the Bible with the verses about God knowing when a single sparrow falls from the sky and that even the animals know God is GOd underlined so she can realize that the earthly court is NOT the only place she will receive judgement from.
  • by anonymous Location: Meridian on May 13, 2010 at 08:58 AM
    I called Petco and advised them of the situation and they thanked me. After Petco called this woman, she called me several times to harass and yell at me over the phone. She also called my husband's phone. I finally told her I would report her to the police for phone harassment if she continued to call me. SHe had offered my money back after my first call to her but I told her to keep it for the other dogs. Perhaps she just got in over her head concerning these animals but anyone with sense for the plight of animals should know when to ask for big help. There were children and a man with her at Petco adoptions events. Any one of them could have gone to the authorities for help. I still feel that the fee I paid for the pup was worth it and the over $750 I paid to heal my dog was worth it. Truly amazing,(in light of her neglect)is the fact that she called my friends as "references" to see if I was FIT to have the puppy. She denied problems with animals EVER.
  • by anonymous Location: meridian, ms on May 13, 2010 at 08:29 AM
    Last year I adopted a puppy from Raven's Hope at the Petco store in Meridian. The pup looked ill and this woman explained that it had been given worming med by the vet the day before. The dog fur was also gummy. She explained that this was from waterless shampoo they used on the dog. I had reservations about taking the dog but my husband wanted it and I gave her more than the $35 fee for the dog thinking she could use the extra for other animals. This was on a Saturday. The pup wouldn't eat or drink, it vomited clear fan foamy liquid over the weekend. I was going to take it to the vet Monday morning but it died Sunday evening. By the next weekend my other dog who had been in perfect health since we adopted it off the side of the road, refused to eat or drink, was vomiting foam. we got her to the vet as soon as possible and she was diagnosed with parvo. I called this woman and let her know. She was hostile and verbally abusive over the phone towards me. continued
  • by RESCUE on Mar 18, 2010 at 08:57 PM
    FYI! FYI! for each comment posted $5 USD goes to each animal rescued from Raven's Hope! So please keep the comments coming. -thanks
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:25 PM
    CEO: Lemme tell ya how Virginia Robinson REALLY spent her days. She spent her days sending crazy emails to relatives that wanted nothing to do with her. She spent her days making non-stop phone calls to her relatives morning, noon and night, to the point that a warrant was issued for her arrest. She spent her days as late as last Friday trying to scam her relatives out of cash with one bogus story after another. She spent her days driving the Social Security office crazy trying to get ssi benefits for a nonexisting disability. She spent her days scamming community services trying to get them to pay her electric bill. She spent her days driving the people at the food stamp office crazy demanding that they give her food stamps. She spent her days hanging out at the casino. She spent her days keeping a "file THIS thick" on anyone who crossed her. And while she was doing all that, the animals spent their days dieing.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM
    Or Kathy Nicholson.
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Mar 16, 2010 at 07:05 PM
    Funny every time someone tried to contact her she was either in the bed with a headache or in the road begging for donations. Lets track this, on 2/28 she was at Petco, on Friday 3/5 she met a couple she adopted a puppy to in which the people took the puppy to their vet and the puppy had Parvo, Sat. she took the puppy to a vet in Philadelphia who confirmed the puppy had Parvo, she was in Winston county asking for donations for a trip to Va supposedly leaving 3/8 to pick up 5000 of food, that is what she was telling these donators, in all reality she was in court on Philadelphia on 3/8 on a court case where she had taken someone's dogs and wouldn't give them back and on the 9 she was raided.... Never actually having a donation of food, but took the money for the expense of the trip....hummmm And where was there any time for the care of 200 dogs?
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2010 at 07:03 PM
    Or Ri-kun, her Vice President.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2010 at 01:30 PM
    Agreed.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 15, 2010 at 01:58 PM
    Just my opinion. I think CEO IS Virginia Robinson
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