By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
HOUSTON – A Chickasaw County man was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty Thursday for allegedly starving his dogs and leaving their corpses to rot for days in his yard.
Bobby Huffman, of 187 County Road 28, was arrested by the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department and released later the same day on $2,500 bond. He faces a Sept. 15 court date.
Huffman could not be reached for comment, but one of his neighbors said the three dogs died on Monday or Tuesday. Each had been chained to the ground in front of makeshift shelters.
“They were laying there dead for days,” said Brian Lacey, who lives nearby. “And then this morning we were picking tomatoes and heard him come with his truck. He took the bodies and left.”
The stench of death lingered hours later, wafting to the gravel road alongside the property where several other dogs remained. They too wore heavy chains tethered to the ground. They appeared emaciated.
Lacey, who filed paperwork against his neighbor Wednesday, said this isn’t the first time Huffman neglected his pets. It has been going on for months, he said.
Chickasaw County Sheriff Jimmy Simmons confirmed his office has received several complaints about Huffman’s animals. The first wave came in January and involved starving horses. This time it was about the dogs.
Simmons said Huffman, who doesn’t live on the property, claimed someone poisoned his animals.
“It’s not a very good case, I’m going to be honest with you,” the sheriff said. “We don’t have any evidence, except the pictures. We’ll have to rely on the neighbors to testify.”
In the meantime, Sheila Horton of Have A Heart Horse Rescue wants to take Huffman’s horses and release his dogs to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society. TLHS Director Debbie Hood said her agency can take the dogs.
But the animals can’t be released without either Huffman’s consent or a judge’s seizure order – neither of which has happened yet.
“At the very least, we need a judge to give someone permission to come and give them food and water,” said Horton, who observed the animals from just outside the property. “They won’t make it another week like this.”