Jennifer Scruggs is charged with cruelty to animals, abandonment of animals and improper disposal of dead animals.
EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -
Effingham County sheriff's deputies say Jennifer Scruggs is charged with cruelty to animals, abandonment of animals and improper disposal of dead animals.
The sheriff's said they found 26 animals in her Guyton home Tuesday.
Scruggs said she lost her job and her electricity was shut off so she was forced to take her children and leave the home.
"They were not abandoned. We have been there every day feeding and watering them. I can't help they did their business on the floor. That is what they do," Scruggs said.
Scruggs said she planned to return to the home once she got her electricity turned on, but deputies say she abandoned the animals for weeks. Neighbors also told WTOC no one came to care for the animals.
"They were left to fend for themselves to starve to death. She didn't take any action. She didn't call animal control or the sheriff's office. She just left them for two or three weeks," said David Ehsanipoor, of the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.
Scruggs said she loved the animals and they were all rescues. She claims she has worked at animal shelters before and even had her own rescue organization.
"I've always rescued animals. Yes, I've probably had too many, but I couldn't say no to them," she said.
Deputies say they found 26 animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles and birds. They say four animals were dead inside and the animals were left in deplorable conditions with no food or water.
But Scruggs insists she stopped by to feed the animals.
She turned herself in to authorities around 11 p.m. Wednesday. She was still in the jail on Thanksgiving.