SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WALA) - Authorities said they will file felony charges against the two women accused in an extreme case of animal abuse.
Baldwin County District Attorney Hallie Dixon met with Summerdale and Robertsdale police, as well as the Baldwin County Humane Society, on Wednesday to discuss the investigation.
Authorities said Roberta Dueitt and her daughter Sharon will likely face more charges, and now felonies.
Investigators have been building up their case against the two after nearly 200 animals were found dead or malnourished at the Purple Hearted Puppies Animal Shelter in Summerdale.
"Everything is being documented at this point. We've got a lot of video and a lot of audio," said Officer Trent Dennis with the Summerdale Police Department. "They would each be facing 20 felony charges and potentially up to 150 to 200 misdemeanors."
Authorities said the major issue right now is getting the Dueitts to officially release the animals to adoption agencies.
"Our board president was included in that meeting. We need to get permanent legal custody of the 109 survivors. There were 58 dogs and 51 cats who survived," said Sonja Presley, executive director at BARC!
Investigators told FOX10 News the paperwork is expected by February 2.
Meanwhile, The Baldwin County Humane Society has been keeping track of the surviving animals that are getting nation-wide support.
BARC! has gotten letters from supporters in New York, California, and many along the Gulf Coast.
Authorities said they will take the case as far as they have to and believe it will ultimately bring about new-tougher legislation.
"When you deal with animals, and especially at this level, and the fact that this place was a no-kill shelter and they marketed themselves as a no-kill shelter - once the pictures of these animals got out and the media of course has helped us tremendously in this - I think it just tugs at the heart strings of everybody," said Officer Dennis.
BARC! Board President Christine Sherwin released this statement:
"We are asking for the community's patience until we have legal custody of these animals."
The letter went on to say:
"All 109 survivors will be fully vetted before BARC! can begin adopting them out. Medical costs will be handled through the Baldwin County Humane Society; your tax-deductible donations can be made at www. BaldwinHumane.org or mailed to PO Box 206, Fairhope, AL 36533."
BARC! is asking for fresh cat food and litter.
They encourage anyone with space to consider adopting an animal they've cared for before the mass rescue to make more space for animals who need the help.
BARC! said the animals from the rescue are currently not available for adoption.
However, they still have other animals in their shelter looking for their forever home. They will be available for adoption Saturday, February 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or the following weekend at PetSmart's National Adoption Weekend Friday, February 10, and Saturday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the PetSmart at the Eastern Shore Centre.
Mobile police have released the names of three shooting victims. Police say the shooting was the result of domestic violence.
Mobile Police have launched an internal investigation into the Third Precinct Captain and a patrol officer, who authorities believe were involved in an ongoing sexual relationship. Captain Carla Longmire is charged with conduct unbecoming …
A Grand Bay family woke up to an unexpected guest on their back porch Wednesday, December 11 - a donkey. Don Edeker said the little guy is lost, and he's trying to help his owner find him.
Bay Area Food Bank, Christian Food Pantry, and American Flooring and Cabinets join together to feed families in need this Christmas season.
Clear skies and a secondary push of chilly air arrive tonight as a stronger area of high pressure moves in from the central plains.
You've heard about some brazen criminals and what they will do to get what they want. This time, you are going to hear about a brave bank employee who didn't mind saying "no".