Animal cruelty defendants go to trial March 26

RIPLEY – A mother and daughter charged last month with animal cruelty appeared Tuesday in Ripley municipal court to enter pleas. Nellie Bracken and Margaret Payne, formerly of 211 Pocahontas Road in Ripley, pleaded not guilty to charges of confining animals without food and water. The two remain free on $500 bonds each. A trial date was set for 9 a.m. March 26. The animals were placed in the custody of the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society after a seizure hearing, also held today. Authorities seized 14 dogs and a cat from the site in January after a neighbor reported seeing two dogs left in a van at the side of the road. When a number of other animals were found locked inside the house and in a trailer on the property, an animal control officer from Lee County came to transport the animals to Tupelo, where they have been evaluated and cared for. With the court’s ruling, they now are eligible for adoption.