Heather Michelle Shanks, 33, was arrested this week on four counts of unlawful confinement or abandonment of an animal with bond set at $20,000. She was also booked into the Escambia County Jail on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in a misdemeanor case. If released on bond, a judge has ordered that Shanks not possess any animals.
In January 2015, Escambia County Animal Control Officers visited Shanks’ property on Lambert Bridge Road in Walnut Hill where they reported finding two thin horses, a fence down in several places and no grass or hay available. A notice of violation was left. In late February, Animal Control officers rechecked and found horses that were “very thin” and fencing still not repaired. No contact was made with Shanks.
In May 2015, Animal Control made contact with Shanks about two horses on the property, one of which was emaciated, and about downed fencing. They explained to Shanks how to correct the issues, according to court records.
Shanks was issued another violation notice in June 2015 due to her horses roaming, public nuisance, non-potable water and fencing.
Animal control seized horses in late July 2015 due to them being in direct summer sunlight with no shelter or water. There was no running water on the property, and the horses were listed as being thin and dehydrated.
Animal control officers picked up additional horses and continued to receive complaints that they were roaming around the Lambert Bridge Road area during 2016.
The warrant for Shanks’ arrested was issued in early September 2016.
(Some) Responses to “Walnut Hill Woman Arrested On Animal Cruelty Charges”
Robinhood on February 3rd, 2017 9:00 am
She sure does not appear to be missing any meals. Maybe she needs to put herself on the very same diet that she has put her horses. I never have understood why people have animals and then not take care of them. The LORD states clearly that MAN is responsible for taking care of all creatures and she will be punished one day for not taking care of her animals.
horse lover on February 3rd, 2017 10:00 am
me and my family were there twice with the horses in middle of the road at night.i called equine rescue and they told me to call the law.the first nite she came home and put them up.the second nite it was storming.thank the cops for helping put the horses in another yard til they could be picked up.yes they were hungry and they got out just to eat grass.i felt so sorry for them.a week later she got another horse with the fence still down.i called diane lowery.the horse was taken.what kind of person just keeps getting horses sticking them in a yard with no food or water.her weight she had on her tells me she was eating good herself. she should be banned from ever getting another animal.shame on you lady.we need stiffer laws for people like that.
my thoughts on February 3rd, 2017 5:44 pm
Why must the animals suffer for weeks, months, and sometimes years before they are finally rescued? Offenders should be given two days to make things right. Fix the property, make sure there is adequate shelter, food and water, and medical needs of the animals met. If all is not right, then take the animals before they go down so far that they might not come back to health.
horse owner AND LOVER on February 3rd, 2017 7:58 pm
Jamie Downham…I am her friend too, and gave her the horses that she lost. let me say this: The 1st 2 horses they picked up, needed to be picked up. BUT the next 3 were not in bad shape, except a little appaloosa mare that was just a little thin from just having a baby weaned off her..But the people gave her to me, and I took her to Heather bc that 1 was gentle enough for those kids to ride..THOSE 3 horses DID have shelter, and we’re NOT in bad shape! Instead of helping her with those “hungry” horses, people around there done everything they could to have them taken from her too. All this following her husbands death in Dec.2014 automobile accident..!! Everybody just kicked her while she was down , instead of help her where they saw issues.. Notice there were no pics of the horses!!!!
(North Escambia - February 3, 2017)