Agreement Reached in Midland Animal Cruelty Case

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A Midland woman will not have to face Animal Cruelty and Child Endangerment charges. That's the ruling by a judge this week after Sheriff's deputies seized dozens of neglected animals living in horrible conditions. But she's not getting off scot free. Most of her dogs and cats are now in the hands of Animal Control, and will soon be up for adoption.

"You know, it was more just purely numbers. All the cats, which were 14 [in total], were in the house," Paul O'Neill, Director of Midland Animal Services, explained. "6 to 8 dogs were in the house, and it was pretty bad. It smelled bad, there was feces in the house. It was just too many, too many animals."

On Friday, O'Neill told NewsWest 9 ever since law enforcement raided a county house filled with animals on April 24th, the department has been taking care of most the dogs and cats. Some were apparently neglected and underfed.

"The animals are here," O'Neill said. "The Sheriff's Department won the case. They are going to let us adopt the ones that we have, which is 14 cats and then we have 9 dogs."

According to Sheriff Gary Painter, the suspect was the homeowner, whose name has not been released. This week, authorities said she reached a deal with a judge to drop animal cruelty charges in exchange for handing over the animals.

"They weren't aggressive. They just hadn't been handled very much, and I think they will be brought around," O'Neill added.

This weekend, O'Neill said officials will take a close look at the animals one more time, then they plan to adopt them out starting on Monday. In the meantime, he said they've been taking good care of them.

"We've been trying to. There's a few of the larger breeds that we got when they were outside that we've been letting out in our yard and playing with them," O'Neill explained.

O'Neill said he encourages residents to stop by the Midland Animal Services starting this Monday if you're interested. He said all the animals are healthy enough to adopt, they simply need good homes.