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Thursday, May 5, 2011County: Bell
Alleged: Ashley Nicole Miller
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
A Killeen woman who purported to run an animal rescue shelter out of her home has been arrested on a charge of animal cruelty.
Ashley Nicole Miller, 26, was arrested and charged Tuesday with cruelty to non-livestock animals, a class-A misdemeanor. She was in custody at Bell County Jail on $5,000 bond Thursday afternoon, but has been released.
Miller was the founder of Killeen Animal Search and Rescue, an informal organization that helped place lost and abandoned animals by using Craigslist and Facebook.
Killeen Animal Control seized 12 cats and 10 dogs from Miller's home, Animal Control Director Stacie Sherva said. Sherva could not comment on the condition of the animals because a Killeen Police Department investigation into Miller is ongoing.
On March 7, Killeen police searched Miller's home and located a sick kitten. The animal appeared to have been sick for at least five days and was about half the weight it should have been, according to an arrest affidavit.
The kitten was severely malnourished and had clumped feces on its head "to the point that skin was falling off," the affidavit states.
Miller did not immediately return a phone call Thursday evening.
Miller ran Killeen Animal Search and Rescue mostly through Facebook and Craigslist. The organization is described on its Facebook page as a network of volunteers working toward nonprofit status. Miller claimed to have 15 volunteers working with her in November.
Miller shut down the Facebook page after she was confronted by city of Killeen code enforcement about a zoning infraction, Sherva said. Running any sort of shelter out of her home would in essence classify it as a business, whether it was nonprofit or not.
Sherva said any shelter would also have to be inspected at least twice a year by a veterinarian.
"I don't believe that she was doing any of that," Sherva said.
Police arrested Miller in August on a criminal mischief charge. She was also accused of making a terroristic threat, though both charges were dropped.
Sherva said the case should serve as a warning to people looking to give away a pet.
"If people are going to release animals to a rescue group, make sure you're confident who you're talking to and make sure it's not just somebody off of Craigslist," Sherva said.
|According to the Bell County Court Clerk, Ashley Nicole Miller is scheduled for Jury Trial on April 2, 2012 at 9:00 am for both misdemeanor animal cruelty cases: 2C1104642 and 2C1105075.|
|Source: Bell County Court Clerk|
Update posted on Jan 11, 2012 - 3:28PM
- kdhnews.com - May 5, 2011
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