Washington County Sheriff's Deputies arrested 25-year old Stephanie Austine Lynn around 6:00 Friday night. She's charged with 3-counts of cruel death, pain or suffering, and 1-count of passing, counterfeiting, using, presenting or uttering a certificate of veterinarian inspection.
Lynn is the owner and operator of Eternal Freedom Horse Rescue near Chipley.
When we talked to her in March, she was caring for about 3-dozen horses that had been neglected or abandoned by their owners. At that time, Lynn's critics said her 20-acre ranch could not adequately provide for that many horses.
But Lynn defended her actions. Christy McAlister is one of Eternal Freedom’s clients. “When I first met her she had 15 and some would look awful. Then they'd plump up and get better. But now it looks like its just gotten out of control."
Stephanie Lynn, Eterrnal Freedom owner told us why. "We took in more because I can't say, 'no' sometimes. When someone shows me a picture of a horse, like Traveler who was nothing but skin and bones, I can't say, 'no' knowing that that horse may die.”
Deputies released Lynn from the Washington County Jail in Chipley around midnight last night, after she posted bond.
Jail record do not say if any of the horses under Lynn's care died, nor do they specify the type of vet certificate or inspection she allegedly forged.
Ms. Lynn is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges next month.