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Sunday, Feb 19, 2012County: Eastland
Disposition: Not Charged
Person of Interest: Mary Clark
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
She just wants her dogs back.
Mary Clark is the owner of the more than one hundred animals that were seized from two of her Eastland properties on Monday.
She believes she's committed no wrongdoing to any of the animals.
"We didn't know we were doing anything wrong and 'wham bam' they showed up and said 'We're taking them.' Period. Didn't give us time to clean, didn't give us anything," she said.
Clark says it was a family member who tipped animal services and Eastland police to come and seize her animals.
Two were prize-winning show dogs. The rest were animals she had taken in that would have otherwise been abandoned.
She was planning on breeding and selling them- it's what has supported her for more than 20 years.
"I don't know we could lose everything we've got right now because I don't have enough income to support us if we don't have the dogs," she said.
Clark says the animals had plenty of room to move around, but officials say they were being kept in unsanitary conditions.
"They had been kept in cages for a long time in very confined ares," said Eastland Police Chief Billy Myrick. "There didn't appear to be a whole lot of access to anything of getting outside of the cages and the cages hadn't been cleaned in sometime."
A look around the building she keeps as an furniture upholstery and dog grooming business shows a collapsing roof and other damages.
But Clark says that doesn't affect the care she gives the animals daily, feeding them only the best food that costs about forty dollars a pound and letting them out to run around her backyard.
The animals are now being cared for at a temporary shelter where they'll remain until the case is settled. Beth Gammie from RedRover came from California to help and says that its not always a case about the owner not caring.
"It's not necessarily malicious or that they're trying to hurt animals, but it takes a crew of a lot of people to take care of you know one hundred and ten animals," said Gammie.
Clark hasn't yet been charged, but could face multiple counts of animal neglect.
The former pet store owner says they were better off in her hands.
"They took them from down here because they said we were keeping them in crates, and they take them down there and put them in a crate," said Clark. "To me there's no difference in the way we were keeping them and where they've got them."
Clark most recently had a hearing at the Eastland City Hall and says she was able to reach an agreement with officials, stating that she should be getting back some of her dogs, including the two prize-winning Giant Schnauzers.
|An Eastland woman whose animals were seized Feb. 19 said she agreed to release ownership of her animals Friday after the city threatened to press criminal charges against her family members.|
On Monday, Mary Clark said she signed off on an agreement to give up about 100 dogs of various breeds, mainly cocker spaniels and schnauzers - as well as eight pet rats and two tortoises. In exchange, she said, the city will not charge her, or her family, with any criminal offenses.
"There's been a great deal of uproar in the city, and it's been one-sided," Clark said Monday. "We walked the dogs, two to three times a day. We've were always taking good care of the animals. All there is left is for me to defend myself."
Clark said she was not given a chance to clean up after the animals. Eight officers showed up at her doorstep without warning to take the animals on Feb. 19, Clark said.
On Friday, Ron Holliday, Eastland city manager, said he was in talks with Clark regarding the animals. Holliday did not return phone calls from the Reporter-News on Monday.
Clark's animals were seized after city officials deemed they were living in unfavorable conditions, Holliday said. He said the animals did not suffer from physical abuse, but some were malnourished.
Cocker Spaniel Rescue, an Austin-based nonprofit, said it has received many of the dogs. Other animals have been dispersed to their sister organizations across Texas, the organization reported.
The animals are awaiting adoption in Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
For information on how to adopt the animals, visit www.austincockerrescue.org.
|Source: reporternews.com - Feb 27, 2012|
Update posted on Mar 4, 2012 - 7:53PM
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