Union County couple arrested on 31 counts of animal cruelty, ASPCA says

Union County couple arrested on 31 counts of animal cruelty, ASPCA says

LAKE BUTLER, Fla. — Union County couple, Robin Deen and Marie Deen, were arrested Friday on 31 animal cruelty charges involving more than 75 animals, according to the Union County Sheriffs Office.

September of 2019, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the UCSO rescued more than 75 animals including cats, dogs and horses in Lake Butler.

The charges include 14 felony counts and 17 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, according to UCSO.

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According to the ASPCA, upon arrival investigators discovered the animals living in substandard conditions and were exhibiting signs of neglect. Some of the animals were living in unsanitary kennels and were suffering from various medical issues.

“A primary focus for the ASPCA is to work alongside law enforcement, prosecutors, and animal welfare professionals across the country to improve the lives of animals – especially those being abused or neglected,” said Jennifer Chin, vice president of ASPCA Legal Advocacy and Investigations. “These animals were living in inadequate conditions where their basic needs were not being met, and we’ve had the privilege of watching them thrive in our care these past few months. We’re pleased to have the Union County Sheriff’s Office and local prosecutors as strong partners in tackling animal cruelty in Florida and are grateful for their commitment to seeking justice for these animals.”

“We would like to thank the ASPCA for assisting us in this complex, detailed investigation into animal cruelty in our county,” said Union County Sheriff Brad Whitehead. “We take all of these cases very seriously and animal cruelty will not be tolerated. We have worked very closely with the ASPCA and thank them for their expertise and evidence collection so we could proceed with charges and prosecution.”