Crime

Charge: Picayune woman faked dog hearing test certificate for sale

Lynne Hackney
Lynne Hackney

HATTIESBURG -- A Picayune woman accused of animal abuse in 2014 is now facing a new charge.

Lynne Hackney, 59, was indicted by a grand jury for the State of Mississippi for false pretense in relation to alleged forged documents in the dog abuse case.

Rachael Ring, spokeswoman for Attorney General Jim Hood's office, said Hackney was arrested March 6, then booked into the Lamar County jail. Her bond was set at $10,000.

Hackney has not yet been arraigned, so no trial date has been set, according to officials with the 15th District Circuit Court.

The indictment says in May 2014, Hackney conducted a fraudulent transaction involving more than $500 at 6143 U.S. 98, Suite 50 in Hattiesburg. The indictment goes on to say Hackney provided a forged Louisiana State University veterinary school certificate of a BAER hearing test for an Australian cattle dog puppy, then sold the puppy to David Keith Hunt for $700.

Hunt declined to comment.

A similar instance allegedly happened to Tish Frank Webb, who in 2011 lived in Franklin, Tennessee, when she purchased a puppy from Hackney.

She knew the breed was genetically inclined toward blindness and deafness, so she did a lot of research before settling on a puppy from Bleu Moon Cattle Dogs, based on Hackney's representations on the breeder's website. Bleu Moon Cattle Dogs was the dog-breeding business Hackney ran.

"Her website said she was an AKC (American Kennel Club) breeder of merit, which I found out was stolen from another breeder's website," said Webb, who now lives in Boston. "I spent a not-insignificant amount on a puppy based on what I thought was from a quality breeder."

Webb said after getting the dog, which has some issues including aggressiveness toward other dogs, she discovered the BAER hearing test allegedly obtained from a veterinarian at LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine was forged.

A call to LSU's public information officer Kevin Scott was referred to the Mississippi's Attorney General's office, as the university could not comment on the case.

Webb said she wanted to file charges against Hackney, but was told she could not because her dog could hear.

Hackney and her husband, Miles Allen, were charged for simple animal cruelty in October 2014 after authorities in Pearl River County confiscated more than 50 dogs from the couple's property in Carriere.

Hackney could not be reached for comment.

The Associated Press in 2014 reported the dogs were living in kennels, some three to a cage, and all of them were standing or lying in their own excrement. There was no food or water within reach, and one of the dogs' fur was so matted it couldn't walk.

In October 2015, the couple each pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse in addition to other misdemeanor charges, according to a report in The Picayune Item.

Private investigator and researcher Michelle Veron of Denham Springs, Louisiana, who specializes in puppy mills, worked on the initial animal abuse case. When helping place the confiscated dogs in safe homes, she discovered the certificates, which she believed were forged.

Veron gathered as many certificates as she could find, then sent them to LSU to see if they could be verified. She said they were not.

"The hope is that because she got a slap on the wrist for animal neglect charges, we're really hoping she gets jail time for this and gets permanent sanction from the AKC," Veron said.

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