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Arkansas animal shelter director to appear in court after investigators uncover ‘frightful’ conditions

Reta Merritt Roberts charged with 285 felony counts of animal cruelty
Reta Merritt Roberts charged with 285 felony counts of animal cruelty(Helena-West Helena Police Dept.)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:37 AM CDT
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HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (WMC) - The director of a Mid-South animal shelter is due in court Friday facing hundreds of felony charges of animal abuse.

Now a desperate plea for volunteers to help the animals.

Helena-West Helena police say they found 240 dogs and 45 cats living in filth at the Humane Society of the Delta.

The police chief says there was even evidence that dozens of cats died at the shelter.

Helena-West Helena police and Phillips County sheriff’s deputies raided the shelter early Thursday morning.

Investigators arrested shelter director Reta Merritt Roberts charging her with 285 felony counts of animal cruelty.

The arrest comes after volunteers complained about the animals being mistreated, neglected and physically abused by workers.

The shelter also has an outstanding water bill of more than $29,000.

“We found emaciated dogs. We found rat colonies by the hundreds. We found dead rats in dog pens, and feces, and trash. The conditions are frightful,” said Mayor Kevin Smith.

We need volunteers now to help feed and water over 300 animals housed at the animal shelter that is located at 8480...

Posted by Kevin Smith Mayor on Thursday, October 21, 2021

Veterinarians are now examining the cats and dogs.

Volunteers are needed right now to feed the animals and clean their cages.

Rescue groups nationwide are heading to Helena-West Helena to move the animals out of the shelter.

If you’re interested in volunteering to help the animals, you can call 870-572-3441 for information on how to help.

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