Couple arrested after dozens of hogs pulled from Polk rescue
POLK CITY (FOX 13) - A Polk County couple is behind bars after deputies say they had to rescue nearly 200 animals -- including 135 hogs -- from their overrun animal rescue facility following a PETA tip.
According to the Polk County Sheriff's Office, it was back in May when two representatives from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), began working as volunteers at Darlynn's Darlins in Polk City. They recorded "severe neglect" of animals there and turned the footage over to the sheriff's office last week.
On its website, Darlynn's Darlins described itself as a "not for profit, no kill, animal rescue, sanctuary, advocacy and education organization." But deputies say PETA's testimony and videos described hogs on the property suffering from tumors, hair loss, overgrown hooves, open sores, and ambulatory issues. There were also dogs, cats, and a steer suffering from neglect.
Thursday, detectives and Animal Control officers swarmed the facility and removed 197 animals. The rescue's owners -- Darlynn Czerner, 65, and her husband, Clinton "Butch" Martin, 61 -- were arrested and charged with three counts of felony animal cruelty and 138 counts of animal neglect.
A civil hearing at a later date will determine the fate of all the seized animals.
"We consider this 'bogus' rescue to instead be a hoarding facility that left sick and injured animals to suffer without even basic veterinary care," Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA's senior vice president of cruelty investigations, offered in a press release thanking the sheriff's office.
WATCH: PETA's video (may be disturbing to some):