GAYLESVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Authorities say two animals among cages of pets left near a flooding river in Alabama have died and that their owner has been arrested.

News outlets report that 59-year-old Dana Marie Head is accused of leaving pets outside to die in the Chattooga River's flood waters. Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver says the Gaylesville resident was arrested Saturday on 17 counts of animal cruelty.

Shaver says the county has experienced widespread flooding following days of heavy rain.

Sheriff's deputies had received reports about cages containing rabbits, ducks, birds and cats in danger of drowning from the swollen river. Two had already died. Deputies cut the cage locks to rescue the animals.

Head was taken into custody when she returned home. It's unclear if she has a lawyer who could comment.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.