Owner of Flagler County animal rescue arrested; faces animal cruelty, drug charges

46 animals previously seized from woman’s home in Palm Coast, records show

Ruth Rupprecht, 59
Ruth Rupprecht, 59 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The owner of an animal rescue in Flagler County has been arrested and faces animal cruelty and drug charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

Ruth Rupprecht, 59, was arrested Wednesday following a monthslong investigation.

Rupprecht has been under investigation since May when a puppy was adopted from her organization — Save A Furry Friend Animal Rescue, Inc. — and then died a few days later, according to a news release.

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On Sept. 14, court records show deputies were granted a search warrant for Rupprecht’s home in Palm Coast. Investigators said, prior to the warrant, they purchased prescription drugs from the woman at her home.

During the search, investigators said they found $20,000, more than 100 prescription medications and 46 animals, according to a news release. Deputies said the animals were found living in filthy conditions with garbage and feces all around the home. The animals were removed from the home and taken in by Flagler Animal Services.

The search led deputies to launch a separate animal cruelty investigation.

“I’m glad to see she’s facing consequences for her actions,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “I’m proud of the Major Case Unit, our Agriculture Crimes Unit, and detective team for continuing to build a case against this woman. We will not tolerate poison peddlers, especially those that use innocent animals as a front to hide their illegal activity in Flagler County.”

Rupprecht faces charges of possession of morphine, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a legend drug with intent to sell and 10 counts of cruelty to animals.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.