Woman drops off U-Haul full of dogs and cats, some dead, at shelter

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) A woman is in jail after police said she dropped off a U-Haul full of dogs and cats at Memphis Animal Services.

Mary Winstead was arrested and charged with dozens of counts of animal cruelty after police say she dropped off a U-Haul filled with dogs and cats at a Memphis animal shelter / Source: WMC

The shelter is now at a crisis level after 15 dogs and 13 cats were dropped off. Not all of the animals survived; two cats and two dogs were dead inside the truck, and another dog died shortly after.

Mary Winstead, 45, was arrested and charged with dozens of counts of animal cruelty.

Memphis Animal Services said the animals came from Jackson, Tennessee, and while they do not usually accept animals from outside the community, they made an exception after seeing the condition of the animals.

They said that two women who were moving to Memphis said they had been evicted and their new housing fell through. Because of that, they said they needed to surrender all of their animals.

"When we opened the van we could tell that the conditions were horrible. They were inhumane. The heat poured out of the van as we opened. You could smell the feces and the urine and you could see the condition these animals were in," said Alexis Pugh, director of Memphis Animal Services.

MAS said they are now full after taking on the animals, and their intake puts larger-breed dogs already at the shelter at risk of euthanasia.

It's the second time in a month the shelter has gone into crisis mode. In June, a seizure of 40 German Shepherds filled the shelter up, but animal lovers show up to help clear the kennels.

Adoptions costs $10 for the rest of the month.

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