This interesting case comes out of Tarrant County, Texas where a rescuer of shelter pets was charged with animal cruelty after police found 111 emaciated dogs and cats in a Keller home. A lawsuit has been filed by the rescuer against the city.
According to a lawsuit filed in October, Deborah K. Thompson, 56, alleges Keller officials wrongfully entered her mother’s home and seized the animals. Thompson also claims she was never notified of a forfeiture hearing. She faces a charge of tampering with physical evidence in criminal court. (Note: Can someone in the legal field please explain that charge)
Thompson would rescue pets from shelters and attempt to place the animals in local pet shops to find them homes. After a pet shop showing back in July, she temporarily left numerous animals at her mother’s house.
Police were tipped off by a neighbor and were called to the mother’s house on July 24 after a horrible odor was reported. The odor was so bad the neighbor could hardly breathe and had to stay inside her home.
When police arrived, they found 15 puppies and kittens inside a parked minivan. They were found caged without food or water and standing or laying in feces and urine. Thompson was at the home at the time and refused to allow officers to look inside.
An affidavit says at this time an arrest warrant was obtained and the property was searched. Descriptions of the nightmare the officers walked into included cats
“That appeared to be very disoriented. A large number of cats inside the garage, where the temperature was about 100 degrees and metal animal crates were stacked “from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. Cats were too weak and sickly to jump the fence and escape.”
Animal feces and urine were splattered on the walls of a bathtub where an emaciated female dog and several puppies were being kept.
A forfeiture hearing was held that Thompson was unaware of because the only notice of the hearing was served to her mother. The Humane Society of North Texas, which had planned to handle their adoptions, was awarded custody.
Both Thompson’s attorney and Keller city officials declined to comment on the lawsuit.