FIRST ON 3: Bledsoe County woman says she never abused animals found on her property
The Bledsoe County woman accused of animal cruelty appeared in court Tuesday morning, authorities said Caroline Adkins had 166 dogs and over 40 cats on her property.
Adkins said she never abused these animals, and the trouble started when her Great Pyrenees got loose one morning.
"And I went to get my clothes on and he took off on a runabout me and him both were out 72 hours looking for him," said Adkins.
That's when she said a neighbor called authorities.
"We got behind. I asked the sheriff's department, give me a week, give me two weeks and it will be better, the next thing I know, they're all gone," said Adkins.
Adkins disputes authorities claims that there were 166 dogs and over cats on the property, she claims she only had 125 dogs and 10 cats.
"It's called 'Someday Acres,' you're going to think I'm looney Moccasin Bend said I wasn't, when I was 12 years old God spoke to me and told me I was going to have a place called 'Someday Acres' and I was going to take in strays, He gave me a number of 125 and he said don't go over it," said Adkins.
She said these animals were her life.
"They were my babies, they were my life, they gave me purpose because I can't have kids and they were my babies," said Adkins.
Adkins wanted to help animals in need.
"I usually found where people dumped them out," said Adkins. "I found some behind Kroger, a puppy behind Kroger's somebody had stuck in a cart. I don't walk past when something needs help."
Adkins said she's not guilty, and she hopes she can get some of her dogs back.
"They weren't abused, I don't dog fight, I don't nothing. I just love my babies, I just would love to get with the judge so I could have them back, my Pugs, my German Shepherd," said Adkins.
Adkins said she's now afraid to leave her home.
"They were my babies, I go to work that's what I live for, that's what I worked for I don't even want to go to work anymore," said Adkins. "I don't want to leave my house because I'm afraid to leave my home and they're going to haul him (Adkins' husband) off too."
Adkins is set to appear in court again on November 8th.
Adkins is charged with animal cruelty, a Class A Misdemanor, she faces a possible punishment of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a fine up to $2,500.