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Polk man, woman arrested on 40 charges of animal cruelty

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POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

When Polk County Sheriff deputies responded to a call about possible drug possession at a house on Owens Road in Auburndale Friday, they found 47 malnourished, sick dogs in cages and running around the house.

The stench in the house was deplorable, deputies told us. They said the dogs were standing in their own feces and looked like they hadn't been let out of their cages in a while.

The people who lived in the house were Randall Keith Huggins, 49 and Bernice Mae Walskey, 55. Deputies found bags of leafy green substance in Huggins' car.  The substance turned out to be a herbal alternative to marijuana. During the investigation deputies also found about 14 pounds of a green herb and several bags of chemicals used to produce synthetic cannabinoid.  

PCSO deputies contacted Polk County Animal Control to help deal with the dogs.  PCAC crews took the dogs in for a veterinary evaluation.

Both Huggins and Walskey denied having drugs on the premises.  Authorities charged Huggins with 40 counts of animal cruelty. Walskey was charged with three counts of possession of listed drug and 40 counts of animal cruelty. 

Walskey bonded out on Sunday, Huggins remained in jail, according to PCSO report.

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