State Photos and Documents from Klein Animal Shelter in Texas

Warning:  The text and photos on this page detail animal abuse at a shelter in a graphic manner.  This material will disturb you.  Those with children who might see your screen are also strongly cautioned as the contents of this page are inappropriate for children.

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In January 2015, three employees of the Klein Animal Shelter in Jacksonville, Texas were arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Director Angela Wallace was charged with multiple counts including felony cruelty. Staff member Ashley Ruhl was charged with felony cruelty – torture. Employee Jason Craft has been charged with misdemeanor cruelty.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has an extensive file on Klein including photographs dating back to 2011 and documentation of phone calls from whistleblowers starting in 2013.  The department’s authority was narrowly limited to inspecting and certifying the shelter as an approved rabies quarantine facility.  Even though DSHS was powerless to enforce animal cruelty laws, staffers did maintain records of all the photos and information it received regarding alleged cruelty at Klein as well as its own inspection reports. In April 2013, veterinarian Melinda Hergert at DSHS contacted the Jacksonville police chief, city manager and the mayor to request a meeting with them and the city attorney about the cruelty allegations at Klein.  No one was interested in meeting with her.

Photos in the DSHS file dating from February 2011, allegedly taken at Klein, show dead animals being left in their cages after being killed and live animals in cramped, filthy conditions:

2-11-11 Dead Puppies left in cage

2-11-11 dead puppies put down in one crate

2-25-11j

2-28-11m

2-25-11i

In April 2013, DSHS began receiving phone calls from two whistleblowers employed at Klein. The callers made a number of allegations against shelter management and staff including:

  • An employee named Ashley would allegedly taunt the cats at the shelter by hitting their cages, stating she was trying to make the cats crazy. She would videotape herself doing this.
  • On April 20, 2013, Ashley was allegedly witnessed taking a cat out of a cage whom she had been warned was displaying erratic behavior. After the cat bit her, she put a chokepole around the cat’s neck, strangling and kicking the cat. She continued kicking the cat while dragging him to another room. The cat lost consciousness at some point and was placed in a cage where he later regained consciousness. When Ashley told management about the incident later, she said “the [expletive] cat had a boot print on it now.” Management laughed in response.
  • Most of the animal killing at the shelter was allegedly performed in view of living animals, often in the cages, not in the kill room.
killed in cage

Dogs killed in their cage.

 

  • Cats were allegedly killed using a pole syringe and injected at random sites on their bodies. They would often thrash around before dying due to the improperly administered injections.
  • Dog with injuries such as broken legs and gunshot wounds were allegedly not given veterinary care but were left to suffer in their cages for weeks before being killed.
  • Some of the employees allegedly killing animals were neither certified nor trained in euthanasia.
  • Two of the employees allegedly belonged to a fight club run by Angela Wallace.
  • Much of the management and staff’s time at the shelter was allegedly spent running the fight club, practicing recipes for barbecue contests, drinking and pill popping. At other times they left the premises, for example to pick up a motorcycle, but remained on the clock.
  • Dead animals were allegedly bagged and left in cages beside living animals. The freezers did not work, either partially or completely, and were all full of dead animals.
Pile of dead animals in trash bags in a dog run.

Pile of dead animals in trash bags in a dog run.

  • Two kittens were allegedly killed and left in a cage with a third kitten who did not die from his injection and the mother cat who had not been injected. Management was notified. No immediate action was taken but an employee was told that “Jason is going to hit it later.” Hours later, Jason killed the mother cat.  The third kitten had finally died by this time.
live kitten in crate with dead kittens

Live kitten with pile of dead kittens in crate.

One live kitten, two dead kittens, mother cat out of frame in back of crate.

One live kitten, two dead kittens, mother cat out of frame in back of crate.

Mother dog with litter, including one deceased pup.

Mother dog with litter, including deceased pups, in filth.

(End of whistleblower allegations.)

An excerpt from Dr. Hergert’s 2013 notes gives an indication as to how challenging it was to get charges brought despite ample evidence of ongoing cruelty:

dr hergert notes

Another excerpt from Dr. Hergert’s notes describes her confronting director Angela Wallace with photographic evidence of inhumane and illegal killing:

dr hergert notes2

This is the heartbreaking photograph from the file that appears to match the one described in the above passage:

A litter of kittens being killed in front of their mother who can be seen trying to reach out to them from the crate.

A litter of kittens allegedly being killed in front of their mother who can be seen trying to reach out to them from the crate.

An excerpt from Dr. Hergert’s notes dated a few days later describes her confronting the employee about the killings:

dr hergert notes3

And on May 2, 2013, Dr. Hergert notes additional roadblocks being placed in the way of a meaningful investigation:

dr hergert notes4

In 2013, the city of Jacksonville brought an average of approximately 49 animals per month to the Klein Animal Shelter. The city of Jacksonville, which is just one of several cities which contracted Klein for sheltering services, paid the facility more than $6300 a month. So in 2013, Jacksonville paid Klein roughly $130 per animal for care.  But none of the Jacksonville city servants who were in a position to do something about the alleged cruelty happening at Klein could be bothered to lift a finger then.

Regular readers are familiar with the recent developments in the case (covered here, here and here) involving more failed inspections, further documentation of horrifying conditions by Dr. Hergert and others and ultimately, arrests.

It’s 2015.  The DSHS file on Klein goes back to 2011.  How many animals needlessly suffered inside those walls while city leaders continued to write checks to the facility and ignore Dr. Hergert’s pleas for assistance to stop the brutality?  It is truly harrowing to ponder.

Respectful letters requesting a thorough and transparent investigation into criminal activities at the Klein Animal Shelter as well as prosecution to the fullest extent under the law may be sent to:

Jacksonville City Manager Mo Raissi: mo.raissi@jacksonvilletx.org

Jacksonville city council members:
Hubert Robinson: hubert.robinson@jacksonvilletx.org
Jeff Smith: jeff.smith@jacksonvilletx.org
Billy McDonald: billy.mcdonald@jacksonvilletx.org

Jacksonville police chief Daniel Reece: reece.daniel@jacksonvilletx.org

Note: Jacksonville’s mayor, Kenneth Melvin, died in December 2014. The city has not updated its website to reflect who is currently acting as mayor.

The alleged abuse, torture and neglect that appears to have gone unabated for years at Klein despite ample evidence must never be allowed to happen again.  Tragically, this blog covers cases just like this on a regular basis.  Our shelter system in this country is broken.  Meaningful reform is long overdue.  You can help.

(Thank you Stephen Pope for sending me the docs and photos obtained via FOIA request.)

Leave a comment

119 Comments

  1. I thought I was pretty tough but this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to read. I hope the three involved in this mess get long, long jail terms and never, ever have anything to do with any living creature ever again.

    Reply
    • I am told that two others will be arrested soon.

      Reply
      • Thank you for being the brave one to go back again and again and again, and for keeping at it even now as things come to light. I have no doubt people will target YOU because how dare you narc on the good citizens of their community! Ack. I’ve emailed where there are emails provided, if you think setting up a petition to circulate nationally would help I’ll do that for you. If there’s ANYTHING else we, the mouthy animal advocate community, can do to move this forward in a positive way, let us know.

  2. This is past horrible, they knew exactly what they were doing and it was a joke to them. This place needs to be shut down and all three of them punished to the fullest extent of the law……cannot imagine the anguish that these pets went through…….horrible…..

    Reply
  3. Donnamarie

     /  February 13, 2015

    I cannot fathom such acts of cruelty. Donations & tax payers pay for shelters as do some grants. To do this to any animal is horrible. I hope this sick ppl are fired & that shelter is shut down.

    Reply
  4. angelene opie

     /  February 13, 2015

    this is just the most horrible thing i have ever seen, killing these defenseless dogs and cats, how do you people sleep at night? i PRy THW GOOD LORD SAW WHAT U DID AND GIVES YOU EXACTLY WHAT YOU DESERVE!!!!

    Reply
  5. Susan

     /  February 13, 2015

    Acting Mayor is Hubert Robinson.

    That was easy.

    Reply
  6. Well this makes me absolutely sick to my stomach , I am sorry but there should be 4 on that SUSAN CLEMENTS ACO should be charged for warning them to clean up so she wouldn’t get charged , what are they friends I hope she loses her Job over this phone call she made to warn them, shows who’s side she is on , the other 3 and anyone else involved in this cruelty case all need at least 10 years jail time never ever to be 100 feet near an animal , that Jason’s wife or sister what ever she is, killed that animal in a choke hold bc it bit her, to bad the poor little thing didn’t claw her more than just bite her,,she is for sure a sociopath along with other 2 scum when they go to prison put them in cells with Animal Lovers, Great Karma, I hope they get an animal loving judge and jury

    Reply
    • Dianne please see my post below anout Susan Clements.

      Reply
    • Well the person you are referring to is Ashley Ruhl, aka Ashley Craft. A former shelter worker I interviewed said she is Jason Craft’s wife. This person also witnessed the assault. Also, she did not kill the cat, however, it was eventually put down days later. An April, 2013 health department inspection confirmed the cat was injured because of her assault on it.

      Reply
      • That man pictured and all others written about are sick twisted pieces of shit and deserve the same treatment…May karma visit them real soon….Ashley and Jason you WILL get what is due to you… The Universe never forgets.Oh, and the management that laughed at Ashley’s behavior you too will get what is coming your way..Remember that….

  7. jade

     /  February 13, 2015

    How and why do shelters hire people likes these assholes? This is not the first time I read something where shelter employees abuse the animals and treat them like crap. This is absolutely disgusting.

    Reply
  8. Donna Sanders

     /  February 13, 2015

    Something drastic has to be done to get the attention of the World.

    Reply
  9. Oh how horrific..I could feel my pulse and blood pressure rising when I looked at these photos…What makes people so cruel….I sure hope these monsters are prosecuted to the fullest!

    Reply
  10. Sheens

     /  February 13, 2015

    Why are they even putting down healthy babies? Let’s put them down!

    Reply
  11. Mary Cossairt

     /  February 13, 2015

    I am appalled and sickened at what I read and saw!!! This facility MUST BE closed down immediately in order to protect these innocent animals. To date I know of no facility that treats animals like this without any regard for what they go through. Having unlicensed employees who perform some of the tasks of putting down an animal is unheard of. If the Mayor does not give a damn, then someone needs to go higher with a valid complaint, including these pictures. Surely there is someone out there who can get the ball rolling. We must be their voices since they have none of their own. These people are evil, abusive and sick. The Kllein facility is a house of horrors and must be wiped off the face of the earth. Jacksonville residents, please work hard and together in getting justice for these innocent animals.

    Reply
  12. Danielle Chico

     /  February 13, 2015

    Its appaling that this has gone on for so long. I just dont get it. All involved and especially all who turn a blind eye are just disgusting.

    Reply
  13. Renate Andersch

     /  February 13, 2015

    This place must shut down and the gruesome people must be punished for life in prison.

    Reply
  14. Sharon Gartell

     /  February 13, 2015

    us as human beings are the only ones to stop this!!!! Shelters pounds etc should not be employing these sort of people full stop. Why there killing kitten and puppies there very rehomeable , makes me sick to the stomach what these poor animal endure before death takes them !!!! Shame on these people governments all over the world need to change .

    Reply
  15. OUTRAGEOUS!!!THESE SHELTERS NEED ANIMAL LOVERS WORKING IN THEM!!!THIS IS WHY I HATE FUCKING SHELTERS!!!

    Reply
  16. Marianne

     /  February 13, 2015

    Ok we can all piss and moan about this..those of you who live there DO Something!

    Reply
  17. Doris

     /  February 13, 2015

    First of all, I think there is far more wrong here than the immediate staff running their own show. Also, while there is a whistle blower protection law, it simply is not enough to protect those who are totally defenseless. There needs to be penalties for those who *do not report* cruelty, and other serious violations, in a timely manner.

    I think the data presented here should be shared far and wide. The public needs to know of all the possible risks associated with relinquishing animals to *kill* shelters. Also the public needs to be constantly reminded that four-million animals, in control facilities, are killed each year. If horrifying photos are what it takes to help push the public to change its behavior and attitudes, then BRING IT ON!

    Two years ago, I attended a local community education talk at the local animal control facility. The director gave the following stats: Animals handled per year = 3,000 dogs and 4,000 cats; 3,500 animals destroyed; 85% of cats killed; 1 of 3 dogs was a pit.

    On several occasions, when I’ve seen puppies for sale signs, I make a note of the address. Then I send a letter to the address notifying the occupant of the penalty for making a for-profit breeding factory of their animal. I declare that they are to volunteer one week at a local kill shelter where it is their duty to pick the animals to be killed each day. Animals who’s only sin was not having a loving home.

    Reply
  18. Omg. Put these people in prison gor along time. Disgusting. It was hardvto readwhat they did to these poor furbabies. Prison & fines!!!

    Reply
  19. SINCE T THEN HAS TGEY CHANGED THINGS THEIR WHRE ANIMALS ARE SAFE NOW AND GOTTEN PEOPLE IN TOO WORK THAT ARE FOR THEM AND FIRED DISMISSED THOSE OTHERS WHO KILLED THEM AND WHATEVER AND NEVER BE ABLE TOO COME BACK AND DO THIS TOO OTHERS OR W ENT TOO JAIL ANY OR GET FINED WHAT HAPPENED ? PLEASE EMAIL ME AT bevjhiller@hotmail.com and let me know or call me at 5702997478 please let me know are animals safe their now till placed what ? or closed it down what ? i need too know i am a devoted animal lover of rescue for 26 yrs let me know what happened too the mother cat who witnessed man killing her babys in cage and could not get too them in time or help ? was she saved what ? in picture get back too me please let me know and still their or was adopted out what ? even though wil never forget she won’t of what happened too her babys and inside grieve know this

    Reply
  20. Dawn

     /  February 13, 2015

    Has anyone from Texas explored starting a petition on Change.Org to make sure these people are prosecuted to the fullest? This isn’t a one time incident with the 3 persons charged. They knew very well what they were doing & obviously enjoyed the unspeakable acts of torture that they performed on defenseless animals. Usually seeing ANY pictures of animals that have been tortured makes me bawl like a baby but this..this made me beyond pissed off! Sick sick people in this world.

    Reply
  21. I AM GUTTED…HOW DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE WITH THEMSELVES NO LESS HIRED TO CARE FOR ANIMALS….I PRAY THAT THE DPGS AND CATS WHICH SUFFERED AT THEIR HANDS WILL GET JUSTICE….I AM SICK AND TIRED OF JUDGES GIVING A LOUSY SLAP ON THE WRIST TO THESE MONSTERS.

    Reply
  22. H.B.

     /  February 13, 2015

    This is what needed to teach brainless citizens of this country who deny the facts! Let them see with their own eyes that millions of animals are being killed in the USA, which can be compared top the Nazi death camp. Let those brainless who come to the USA, thinking they came to a heaven realize that the treatment of animals here is no better, even worse then in their country. Until people do not wake up and protest this insanity, it will continue. The richest country in the world, yet it has no money for the defenseless. Shame! This is the reason why I hate people, who deny the obvious.

    Reply
  23. Scott

     /  February 13, 2015

    Hope all who were involved get cancer and die slowly…

    Reply
  24. It is appalling that public servants conducted their business in this manner and neglected, abused & killed so many innocent lives. The mayor, police chief and the city attorneys office dropped the ball, each and everyone responsible should be terminated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In today’s time we are seeing a pattern emerge of tremendous and cruel executions to these defenseless animals by this monstrous human beings, how are we to look at these shelters and their staff from now on, we encourage whistle blowers to step up to the plate and make a difference and we most certainty will act upon when we see cruelty & abuse perpetrated to the animals.

    Reply
  25. Let me comment on the Susan Clements accusations and a few other items. I devoted several months to gathering documents and investigating the shelter. Chief Daniel said that the accusations that one of his Animal Control Officers was providing former director Angela Wallace with restricted law enforcement information and warning her of an imminent inspection was based on speculation, not on fact. Daniel said during a Feb. 6 conversation with me, “I put an officer on it that day [Hergert] complained about it, and I said, ‘investigate this and follow it where it goes, and they did and there was nothing there other than [Hergert’s] suspicions.'” I have been a reporter for over 20 years and based on my telephone and email conversations with the chief, I do believe his department was investigating the shelter long before the 1/14/15 inspection. “It was about six months that it took to get enough information to file [on the three arrested] and to actually get them prosecuted,” Daniel told me in the Feb 6th phone conversation.

    Having investigated animal cruelty as a humane officer, I know what it takes to develop solid cases and one of the most important factors is time, unless you witness it first hand. What Angela Wallace, Ashley Ruhl aka Ashley Craft and her alleged husband Jason Craft did are just unspeakable and unimaginable acts of cruelty and torture and the cases are now in the hands of prosecutors.

    I ask readers to seriously please take into consideration the complicity of Jennifer Lee, the board president. In Dr. Hergert’s notes on May 1, 2013 at 11:18, Lee was placed on actual notice of the conditions at the shelter as well as the ongoing cruelty allegations. So accordingly, based on the health department records, in my opinion, Lee is personally responsible for every single act of torture and cruelty committed after that day, because she knowingly failed to take corrective action. Based on information, board secretary Debra Skinner Griffin aka Debbie Skinner Griffin was also aware of the allegations.

    According to the most recent 2013 990 return of the organization, Lee’s web design company Design Plus was paid over $4,000 for “bookeeping” services. However, the shelter already had a professional accounting firm doing its books. At no other time since 2009 was it necessary for the shelter to hire a bookkeeper. Additionally,Lee according to the 990 devoted 20 hours a week to the shelter. Why was it necessary to pay her over four grand under these circumstances? Lee’s and Griffin or whatever she calls herself, actions are beyond despicable.

    Reply
  26. hope they all get life so uncalled for

    Reply
  27. mas

     /  February 13, 2015

    How is it that such sick, twisted animal haters manage to secure jobs in animal shelters?

    Reply
  28. I hope this place is CLOSED. Disgusting to do what they did to these poor babies….I like to put them in a cage and treat them just like they treated those poor helpless and defenseless babies…

    Reply
  29. I also want to add something else to Shirley’s post. I called Jennifer Lee no less than three times and also send her several emails requesting she comment and answer some questions. I also called Debbie Griffin and asked that she respond. Neither did. Let me emphatic; Had either of these “women” taken action back in April, 2013 and replaced the leadership at the shelter, possibly hundreds of animals would have been spared the torture and abuse they were subjected to.

    While Shirley covered a lot of the main points, I feel compelled to add this that most readers will find equally disturbing. During the April 29, 2013 visit Dr. Hergert confronted Angela Wallace why she hired Ashley a second time [AFTER] she was fired for abusing a dog. “After that is when I asked Angela Wallace about Ashley being fired in the past for animal cruelty….I asked Angela Wallace about the incident with Ashley having injured or killed a dog on a catch pole in her earlier employment at Klein. Angela said [YES] Ashley had been fired b/c of the excessive force. She said Ashley was fighting with a community service worker at the time and then used excessive force on the dog…..I told Angela I do not understand why you hired her back. She just shrugged her shoulders.”

    Reply
  30. Debbie Lloyd

     /  February 13, 2015

    every freakin person at this shelter needs to be fired !! ALL OF THEM !! How long did this go on ? these are cold hearted killers and need to not only lose their job but they need to be sentenced to do jail time !! How would this go on un-noticed ??

    Reply
  31. Kate

     /  February 13, 2015

    I hope they treat them like child molesters in jail… And use them repeatedly. I hope they live in jail and suffer a very long time… and right when they are free, someone takes them out. Fuck these people. They deserve Hell.

    Reply
  32. Susan Moore

     /  February 13, 2015

    This is appalling and horrible. How can you do this to the babies. How can you let them starve and not give them water. How can you abuse and attack this animals. Ya are heartless, soulless, no conscious monsters. By the way how do you treat children. This place eeds to be closed down, the people should be gotten for animal cruelty and a abuse. Ya should be punished severely with long prison terms and huge fines. But definitely never be able to have or work with animals of any type ever again

    Reply
  33. Susan Marit

     /  February 13, 2015

    Is there a petition somewhere that I can sign? This can not be allowed to continue. We need to get this place shut down NOW!.

    Reply
  34. Kathleen Holland

     /  February 13, 2015

    I know that animals endure horrific pain and suffering at the hands of owners and abusers.. But to read about employees of a “shelter” doing such horrific things has brought me to tears! Why call it a shelter if it is not? The politicians that turned their heads need to be run out of town and out of politics. Punishment should be equal to what was given to the poor animals at Klein.. We won’t see that but hoping they will get a lot of prison time.. And hopefully they will also be abused at the hands of other inmates. POS politicians and Klein employees.. Rot in hell!

    Reply
  35. No WORDS ! TOTAL DISGUST!!! YOU PEOPLE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!! KARMA BABY THAT’S ALL I GOT TO SAY!!

    Reply
  36. Jeneane

     /  February 13, 2015

    MONSTERS. No other word for human beings capable of such cruelty. I am disturbed and angry. The world is watching the way American Shelters are run. I am so god damn proud and grateful to be a Canadian. Shame on the USA.

    Reply
  37. I genuinely do not understand why nothing was done when the authorities were told two years prior to now. Why couldn’t people go to the media or to lawyers or rescue groups? All of these poor innocent animals killed at these morons pleasure. God, this makes me so dam sad and angry….you post all of this for us to read and to see but you also say nothing was done which is pure BULLSHIT!!!These people who are hurting, torturing and killing these animals could do the same to children and don’t say “Oh no, that’ would never happen” when they’ve done this to kittens and puppies who are innocent babies!!!!!!!! Dam, I sure as hell wish I lived there because I would do something about this and trust me….these scumbags would for sure get hit with Karma right smack in the face!!!!!

    Reply
  38. Natalie

     /  February 13, 2015

    How can people who are part of the problem investigate themselves. What independent agency can investigate? Can the Feds investigate because the euthanasia medicine came from out of state–just like gun cases?

    Reply
  39. Queenie Jeannie

     /  February 14, 2015

    This is disgusting. GIVE THOSE PEOPLE, AND I MEAN ALL OF THEM THE ELECTRIC CHAIR. HURT AN ANIMAL, YOU DESERVE THE WORST TORTURE THAT GOD WILL LAY ON YOUR HEAD WHEN HE SENDS YOU STRAIGHT TO HELL. WHO IS THAT MURDERER IN THE PICTURE KILLING THOSE KITTENS??? RELEASE HIS NAME AND NUMBER!!! RELEASE ALL THEIR INFORMATION.

    Reply
  40. Corinne Mitchell

     /  February 14, 2015

    I feel sick after reading that. This is one of the cruelest things I’ve seen in a long time, they need to be in jail or worse!

    Reply
  41. Sondra Bibbs

     /  February 14, 2015

    I would have never imagined a situation with shelter animals being so horrible. The community should be in an uproar. I hope karma gets each and every one of the cretins that worked there and especially their so called ‘supervisors’ and anyone else that had knowledge and failed to take corrective action. Please somebody make sure this never happens again. This place warrants daily inspections by someone responsible.

    Reply
  42. shirley probst

     /  February 14, 2015

    What happened to the Klein Animal Shelter–are they still accepting animals? This is too horrific, sounds like a great deal of cover-up and corruption going on at many levels.

    Reply
  43. Put the fuck’in bastards in jail and throw away the keys !

    Reply
  44. Bryan hollen

     /  February 14, 2015

    Jason ans Ashley should be in jail. I’m not giving up till they are in jail.

    Reply
  45. Anne Thomas

     /  February 14, 2015

    Doris, the shelters should stop killing healthy animals; there are alternatives. Blame those doing the killing.

    Reply
  46. topcatsroar

     /  February 14, 2015

    Heartbreaking and disgusting!!!

    Reply
  47. For all of you that is asking for the shelter’s closure, it is closed for now. City officials are working with rescue groups and others and hope to reopen the shelter soon. Let me emphasize my earlier comments about Jennifer Lee and Debbie Skinner Griffin. As of May 1, 2013 she informed of the horrific conditions at the shelter when a state official notified her the shelter’s quarantine license was put on suspension. So had these “women” taken the necessary corrective action then, hundreds of animals would have been spared the torture and suffering. Both their email addresses have been posted.

    Reply
  48. That isn’t a shelter, that is a torture and death camp — obviously run by a monstrous psychopathic sadist. The horrors depicted in those pictures only worsens the thought that this repulsive foul person, Wallace, is probably still lumbering freely amongst other animals and humans in her community, Unfortunately, it is illegal to give her what she so sorely deserves — so the alternative is to lock that monstrosity up in the deepest, darkest hole that can be found in Texas and throw away the key.

    Reply
  49. These people are inhumane. It makes me sick on my stomach. Please prosecute them for crimes against animals.

    Reply
  50. Shelli Castanos

     /  February 14, 2015

    Again, these “people” cannot be in a healthy state of mind. How could they be and commit these acts on a daily basis. It must be stopped and those who are responsible (and paid large salaries), MUST be held accountable. This is sickening beyond belief.

    Reply
  51. Homer Price

     /  February 14, 2015

    I would like to thank Stephen Pope for continuing to investigate these atrocities without any help from the political leaders or animal control officers from the city of Jacksonville, Texas. I am afraid that animal abuse in shelters happens more often that the public is aware of and much too often animals are put down quickly to save the shelter money. It also seemed money was wasted and unqualified people were hired for positions at this shelter. This should be front page news but will probably only be viewed by a few. Police officers don’t enforce animal laws because they would say they are too busy with other more important matters when in most cases they really don’t give a damn. Many of these dogs & cats were adoptable and would have been adopted with a little effort. We need better laws to protect all animals as pets are more than property. Animal shelters & Rescues need to be regulated by the State of Texas as this shelter should have been closed long before it was. Hopefully the police chief and city manager will never be re-elected to their positions again and neglecting animal cruelty will follow them in any future offices they may seek. As to the Mayor at the time, he is exempt from man made laws now but will be held accountable by our Almighty God! To all the responsible people who could have prevented this and did nothing, you should ALL be fired! To those who committed these crimes, you should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law with NO mercy.

    Reply
  52. Sheryl carter

     /  February 14, 2015

    These people should be exterminated ,there should be no place for them on this earth …scum !

    Reply
  53. I CONTACTED THE CITY…and this shelter is SHUT DOWN! The two workers have been arrested and charged with serious crimes. The state removed the shelter’s permit. It’s over…at least for the animals, who have been sent to reputable rescues. Here is the email I received from the city manager:

    mo raissi
    1:58 PM (4 hours ago)

    We investigated, charged people and arrested them. Klein Shelter is closed and was never a city facility. It was a private no profit shelter. The city is currently working on a shelter that will be operated by the city and will be a true no kill shelter. I think we were very successful in our efforts to put an end to this type of abuse.
    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
  54. Shati

     /  February 14, 2015

    This is disgusting. I work at a shelter and if I ever even saw one person mistreat an animal that would be the end of that pos right there. Omg those poor innocent babies. My heart is truly broken for all of them. How about prosecute all involved its time this damn country starts coming down hard on animal abusers.

    Reply
  55. Lisa Morris

     /  February 14, 2015

    This is sick it’s hard to believe that human beings could do something like this these idiots need a severe punishment my heart aches for these poor little animals that suffered at the hand of these monsters

    Reply
  56. Carolyn

     /  February 15, 2015

    The higher ups… Including the late and current mayor need to be Charged As Well
    For not stepping up to stop this.
    Crap rolls uphill.
    these sociopaths are being protected by the people they answer to.
    they ALL need to be charged and convicted.

    Reply
  57. Cindy Martin

     /  February 15, 2015

    To Stephen Pope, thank you for helping bring to light these hideous atrocities it must have been so difficult for you as well. My question though is besides writing those you listed and protesting this has there been a petition started? If not there should most definetly be one created asap. I’ve seen some awful things in my years on this planet and as heartsick as this made me it also brought rage. Our laws protecting animals are so very weak and without true consequence for actions. Please let me know and any others interested what can be done besides writing and emailing. We drive truck long haul and have three rescued dogs that are with us 24/7 every run and at home. All from Texas. They are our family and we love them dearly. My email is roadangel444@gmail.com. Again ty for caring.

    Reply
    • Thank you. I don’t know if a petition being circulated. The three workers have been arrested and charged with various felonies and misdemeanors. However, like I have before, besides the former director Angela Wallace, board president Jennifer Lee and secretary Debbie Skinner Griffin need to be held accountable. Lee was informed of the horrendous shelter conditions and cruelty,including Ashley kicking the cat in April, 2013 and DID NOTHING. I don’t think enough attention is being directed at these two ‘women.” Their failure to act directly led to hundreds of dogs, puppies, cats and kittens being tortured by the sociopaths that worked there. Lee’s email is jen@designpluspromos.com and her phone number is 903.589.1187. Griffin’s is tomdeb1835@yahoo.com and phone 903 721-1722. I am a reporter and former Humane Officer and in my personal opinion they are both pieces of shit.

      Reply
      • First, I would like to thank you, Mr. Pope, for all the work you have done investigating this appalling situation. I have read every document you put up — and I agree that the buck doesn’t stop with Wallace. I will contact every contact that has been listed and demand that others are also held accountable for their despicable action, and inactions, concerning this death camp.

        I have also heard some disturbing news about a former volunteer at this shelter that used the heart stick method to kill the animals when she volunteered at this shelter . Whether she was licensed to “euthanize” or not, is not known by me at this time. What is known, is that she is still in full support of this shelter’s employee’s actions and the methods they employed in the treatment of the animals there. She actually sees no wrong doing concerning the pictures above either. I will try and delve further into this particular matter also.

        Again, thank you for the work and effort you put forth in exposing these monsters who live amongst us.

  58. Cindy Martin

     /  February 15, 2015

    If anyone else reading this has any thoughts or ideas that might help feel free to email and discuss them with me. Thanks.

    Reply
  59. Arne Nelson

     /  February 15, 2015

    Never in my life have I seen such blatant disregard for life by an entire animal saving institution or by a city management team. If the council and board can ignore pleas to save animals, are we sure they would respond to help a child or a city resident? This is disgusting. I left Jacksonville 25 years ago, thank God! I would never want to be associated with anyone who would let this happen. SHAME!!SHAME!! May the powers that be never let you reopen to start this process again!

    Reply
  60. Sharon Browning

     /  February 15, 2015

    Time to remind pet owners that are disposing of unwanted pets and owners that are not responsible and do not spay and neuter their pets creates the environment where ” shelters ” are needed. Hiring untrained employees that will work for minimum wages and overcrowding of these ” shelters ” also adds to this happening so if you do not take responsibility of the animal you welcomed into your home for it’s life you have created this problem. Not all ” shelters ” act in this way but assume they all do before dumping an animal into this situation, is this the end you want for them?

    Reply
  61. These ‘People’Need to be ‘put down’-shame on them….this has made me physically sick…W T F ??? Really makes you think about Animal ‘shelters’ :'(

    Reply
  62. “Shelters” are a magnet for animal haters, people who enjoy inflicting pain and suffering on animals. They can commit their crimes behind the safety of the law. Who doesn’t know this? They are the same individuals who beat and abuse farm animals in slaughter houses, same people. ANIMAL LOVERS DO NOT WORK IN KILL SHELTERS. Don’t entertain the thought that they do. All “shelters” are guilty of hideous abuse. Some hide it better than others, but it exists. This will not change because the ideology remains the same, pets are expendable and their lives are meaningless. No one gives a damn, that’s the ugly truth.

    Reply
  63. This was sooo horrible to see
    May their souls burn in hell
    I believe in what goes around comes around

    Reply
  64. Disgraceful, I’ve never heard of such horrors in a shelter !!! They all need lots of jail time & rehab !!! Criminals !!!!!!

    Reply
  65. TLM

     /  February 15, 2015

    You would think that the media in the Texas metropolitan areas would have picked up on this story…. Haven’t heard a word in Houston. Did any Dallas media carry this?

    Reply
  66. Deonna

     /  February 15, 2015

    This made me sick. The following is my Facebook post that al of my friends and family will see. Most of which are in Jacksonville.

    This makes me so ashamed to be from Jacksonville tx. Why didn’t the city council members try to do something? Why are these “upstanding citizens” who are at church every Sunday and rodeos or livestock shows on Saturdays (teaching their kids to respect animals) allowing this to go on? Why not speak out? Make a scene! This really doesn’t set a good example for the young people in that town.
    Why in the hell did it take a state vet that long to get someone’s attention? There is no excuse for this being allowed. Everyone will hide behind a boss or blame it on someone else, that’s how it works in that town. No one wants to hear it but animals being put down is a cruel fact or life. It happens and whether you agree or not, it’s a necessary evil. But for the love of God, give these animals some amount of dignity and if they must be put down, then do it correctly.
    Just because Klein wasn’t a “city shelter” doesn’t take the blame off of the city. The city was paying the shelter to take animals. I would think that since the city is paying for a service then the city would have some “say-so” over the running of the shelter. There have been complaints about that shelter for a long time. It didn’t just start in 2011.
    That is all.. My rant is over.

    Reply
    • Deonna,
      You now you have me started on that town!! I don’t know how long you lived in that city, but surely you know the proverbial church goers are some of the biggest snobs in that town. Sure, they put on a big front going to Central or First Baptist and other churches twice on Sunday, yet are some of the most two-faced individuals the rest of the week, except when attending Wednesday evening services of course. As far as rodeos go, there is a reason they are unlawful here in Allegheny County, Pa., some of the events amount to animal cruelty. But that doesn’t stop Jacksonville residents from getting all dressed up in July and attending the rodeo there, or the recent pathetic donkey basketball game in Bullard. I’m not sure where you live, but just take a ride around and see how many dogs are tied up, day and night in yards. Why have a dog if you are going to keep it confined to a chain outside?

      You will see that is prevalent in Jacksonville. In my opinion, if it doesn’t concern country music, which restaurant has the best bbq at the time, hunting, fishing or the local high school football team, the vast majority of the population don’t care. And in circles that Lee and Griffin circulate, let’s add the gossip at the country club and who recently bought the newest and most fashionable clothes in Dallas. Now I ask you to be honest, is anything I have written inaccurate?

      Forget about the local gossip column, the Daily Progress, writing a critical story. They are more interested in printing press releases verbatim as news. I have never seen a news organization do that. In response, this is what the editor of the gossip column wrote in an email defending that practice, which just helps prove my point, “Press releases are very helpful tooks [sic] to our organization. It’s a press release or nothing, so take your pick, lol.” The editor also wrote, “We have heard a lot of information regarding the animal shelter … in fact, we have followed the information/rumor trail for 8 years. The Jacksonville Progress will not print anything that is not confirmed in an official capacity. Thank you.” This was in response it could have easily done what I did and submit a records request, but they didn’t. You mean to tell me they can’t be proactive in developing newsworthy stories and have to rely on press releases?

      This is precisely why the shelter was allowed to continue its daily torture and cruelty operation for years.

      Reply
  67. Breaking my heart!!! How can the community let this happen??? God is watching this country.

    Reply
  68. laura

     /  February 16, 2015

    i sat here an broke out in tears… how can people do these things to such innocent animals???i pray they pay a very high price in jail for doin this ALL of them . the whole staff that worked new wat was happening an did NOTHING, how can stand by an know this an not speak out for these babies? its suppose to be save place for them they would have been better off left on the streets!!! R.I.P. for all of you that was torcherd an died a painful death at these monsters!! run free an happy at the reinbow bridge…..

    Reply
  69. Arne Nelson

     /  February 16, 2015

    I agree. All should be held accountable for this horrendous crime. Killing animals for sport or pleasure, which seems to be the case here, is unforgivable!!!! Something now needs to be done….arrest is not enough! Come on folks, demand justice…the animals can’t.

    Reply
  70. I hope these people that have been arrested are held accountable for their actions and are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They are sick. Those that refused to take action when shown evidence should also be accountable for their actions and prosecuted as well. This is totally unacceptable behavior for a shelter that is to be acting humanely killing those they are being paid to help. This really is disheartening for me.

    Reply
  71. Thank you for your kind remarks. I am looking into another one for yesBiscuit, but for security reasons I am not going to name the shelter at this time.

    Reply
  72. As I have said before, based on my 20 plus years of journalism and law enforcement experience I do not believe the police chief is culpable and also honestly believe he was pursuing an active investigation as early as last October. I’m going to be reemphasize the complicity and culpability of board president Jennifer Lee, as well as board secretary Debbie Skinner Griffin. They are close friends with one another, attended the Jacksonville High School around the same time and are close. Lee was told by Dr. Hergert in April of 2013 of the atrocious conditions and cruelty and based on information obtained Lee informed Griffin. Neither DID ANYTHING to change the personnel, especially Angela Wallace and thus are responsible for the torture of innocent animals from April, 2013 through January. Their respective email addresses have been provided in earlier posts.

    Reply
  73. Deonna

     /  February 16, 2015

    Stephen,
    Thanks for responding to my post. You are, for the most part, correct in your assumptions of Jacksonville. Although, there are many kind and generous people there. It’s very sad that the few bad seeds make the town look bad as a whole. But then that’s just about every town. The young adults in Jacksonville that are just now getting into the city politics, are really trying to change things. One person is collecting items for the new shelter that is supposed to be a true no kill shelter. He is the one that has collections for any disaster that hits. He has a heart of gold. There are some very good folks there but, there’s also some really bad “good ole boy” traditions that have yet to be broken.

    Reply
  74. This is probably the most horrendous post that I have ever read, I can’t finish reading it because it’s so bad/sad…I can’t stop crying. This cruelty has to stop. These people need to be severely punished/imprisoned!!!

    Reply
  75. kaye

     /  February 16, 2015

    i am so sick at heart i can not think. how this was allowed , what kind of monsters are these people. the scene with the baby kittens being killed and the mom reaching for them. i would love to shoot that sob. i thought we were a civilized country but with all the animal abuse horror stories i have read about i don’t even like humans much i pray the people responsible one day answer to God. This is horrible.

    Reply
  76. Allison K

     /  February 16, 2015

    omg, i can’t believe the pictures of that mother cat trying to get her babies !!! i can’t stop crying and those poor dogs, ROT IN HELL TO THOSE PEOPLE, I KNOW YOUR NAMES !

    Reply
  77. OmJesus!!! This is just Evil!!! I didn’t wanna look at these photos but i did. These people need to be punished to the max!!! I hope they do and never be able to even look at an animal again!!!

    Reply
  78. Alice L. Fishbaugh

     /  February 17, 2015

    I am in tears and filled with rage at these people who acted in the most barbaric way toward animals that were under their “care.” They should all, everyone of them be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. And shame on those in the local government who knew what was going on and did absolutely nothing. In my eyes they are as guilty as the people directly involved in the torture of these beautiful creatures. When these people stand before a judge may they recieve the same “mercy” they showed to the animals under their “care.”

    Reply
  79. layla

     /  February 17, 2015

    Mo Raissi
    10:15 (3 hours ago)

    to me
    Ms. Layla,
    We investigated, charged people and arrested them. Klein Shelter is closed and was never a city facility. It was a private no profit shelter. The city is currently working on a shelter that will be operated by the city and will be a true no kill shelter. I think we were very successful in our efforts to put an end to this type of abuse.

    City of Jacksonville

    From: Layla Assaf
    Sent: Monday, February 16, 2015 9:47 PM
    To: mo.raissi@jacksonvilletx.org; hubert.robinson@jacksonvilletx.org; jeff.smith@jacksonvilletx.org; billy.mcdonald@jacksonvilletx.org; reece.daniel@jacksonvilletx.org
    Subject: re: Read Urgent

    Reply
  80. And the sad truth is that there are other facilities here in East Texas that do so many of these same things…. but the city officials just want to close their eyes to it!!

    Reply
  81. spaycritter

     /  February 17, 2015

    were these people damaged when they were first hired , or did they devolve into the monsters they have become ? How anyone could support or turn a blind eye is beyond belief. Sadly , many “shelters” may have similar people working in them yet , no one willing to photograph or speak out. The acceptance of killing permeates their souls. Or whatever blackness that has overtaken a soul.

    Reply
  82. Lori

     /  February 19, 2015

    This truly saddens me and is very rough to read. I had visited this shelter and saw many dogs in very poor condition and not properly caged, feed, or watered. I offered to volunteer when it was open and was denied after going in the back where the worst of the animals were, including the 2 freezers overflowing with trash bags. If anyone know of any possible way I could get the shelter back up and running in the proper way, please feel free to comment. I have always lived in Jacksonville and am on my way to persueing a career in animals.

    Reply
  83. Watching

     /  February 19, 2015

    Search via Google and you’ll find Jennifer Clark was asked to step down after making egregious comments about Joe Wooddell, Jacksonville ACO. Even Mr. Klein, who donated the land, asked her to step down also. Debbie Skinner Griffin isn’t too bright. She follows Jennie Lee like a good little obedient lapdog.

    Reply
  84. stevepope

     /  February 19, 2015

    Well, and this is my opinion about Lee and Griffin. They have been good friends since high school and have a ‘holier than thou” attitude. They both share a grandiose belief that because they may be friends and popular with some of Jacksonville’s wealthier residents they are important. Jacksonville is really a nothing town in the middle of rural East Texas. I mean how important can it be if the local “newspaper” isn’t even published on a daily basis and when it is, most of the time it relies on press releases as front page news?

    Reply
  85. stevepope

     /  February 19, 2015

    A Nebraska resident commented on the torture and cruelty at the Klein Animal Shelter in a Letter to the Editor in the Jacksonville newspaper: “Whatever word one wants to use to describe the Klein Animal Shelter it is certainly not “shelter.” Most people understand that a “shelter” is a term used to describe a place of sanctuary and protection from harm.
    After reading several descriptions of the heinous and brutal acts against animals that were reported by the Texas Department of Health, I would be very inclined to call it a torture chamber. One can only feel compassion and sadness for what state of suffering these animals have gone through over the years. And it seems apparent that the suffering was not a one-time incident. It was the status quo.
    Linda Dugan
    Hastings, Nebraska”

    Reply
  86. becky torgerson

     /  February 28, 2015

    no one will do anything. Hell they haven’t even figured out that theses people not only do this to animals, they do it to spouses, children, anyone they can manipulate. Law enforcement are either just as bad, or they are just to chicken shit, prosecutors and judges are on crack or just stupid, start calling us china. I am also a product of this abuse, they (cops)just took my dad out for a beer, and it still gives me nightmares as to what he did to my pet. Don’t forget Washington DC is child porn capital, anything sexually depraved is there, I wonder why all this insanity gets shoved under the rug, all your upper politicians squash it, because they are doing it.

    Reply
  87. Jeffery Ritter

     /  July 31, 2015

    Not all shelters are like this. Like most segments of humanity, a few bad apples cast a negative perception on all; including ones that are doing right by their animals and community.

    Reply
  88. stevepope

     /  July 31, 2015

    Very true. However, NO ONE at the Klein shelter was doing anything close to being right!!!!

    Reply
  89. mary fisher

     /  February 10, 2016

    We here in Georgia have the same abusive thing going on at a Polk county animal control. We haven’t been able to get anyone to listen to us. Volunteers have been banned because they spoke up. We have fought hard and still haven’t gotten any where. It is an outrage that seems to happen every where we look. Animal abuse is now suppose to be a felony but yet nothing is done to these so called animal shelters and in our case animal control. If any one has any ideas as to what we need to do please let me know. My email is ourplaceinlife@yahoo.com also if there is anything that I can do to help please let me know

    Reply
  90. Cindi coker

     /  March 7, 2016

    This is unacceptable. What law allows them to kill these animals in this manner!!! Justice must be served for these people who are seriously ILL!!!!

    Reply
  91. Kasha Batten-Smouse

     /  March 8, 2016

    These people need to be put away in prison for a very long time. We need to start punishing the cruelty that is taking place across the country in those kill camps called “shelters”.
    This is a crime by definition and there should not be immunity given to those who are employed by government agencies to work in those kill camps. This is not humane euthanasia, neither is heartstick or gas chamber! The laws need to change and the cruelty needs to stop!!!
    I am appalled at the lack of oversight from the mayor and city officials and the conditions this “shelter” is in. How can this “whistleblowing” been taking place since 2003 and only now something has been done??? The overseeing officials should lose their positions!!! They did not do their job!
    All the people who closed their eyes to this atrocity should also be prosecuted!!!

    Reply
  92. Teresa Langford

     /  March 8, 2016

    This is criminal there should be an investigation big time

    Reply
  93. kelly a

     /  March 8, 2016

    Pathetic! This cannot be shoved under the rug! These pieces of shit need to be prosecuted to th fullest exstent! This breaks my heart! Close the shit hole down now!

    Reply
  94. Rosemary Parada

     /  March 8, 2016

    DO NOT DO THIS!!!! MANY FAMILIES WANT KITTENS!!!!!!

    Reply
  95. Setsun

     /  March 8, 2016

    He is a total idiot who did that I would throw him where the tigers at so they can eat him.

    Reply
  96. How did these people even get this job , I think they need to start looking at their bosses this has been reported since 2011 or 2013 ? and not one official looked into this ! They need to start at the top and start firing and jail time for animal abuse and stealing money (plain as that ) misappropriation of funds in any company is sure jail time so what makes the shelter funding different it’s a crime and the murders of these animals the one’s that actually did the Hanoi’s despicable sadistic murders in front of other living creatures need to be taken out of society and put away with it’s own kind …

    Reply
    • Stephen Pope

       /  March 10, 2016

      The difference is the “leadership” are well-connected in that hick town. If anyone knows a way around that monstrous hurdle to getting them charged, I’ll gladly try. Truth is I know that town and there’s mot, at least on a state level.

      Reply
  97. Regina Moore-Garland

     /  March 10, 2016

    This is just pure evil!!!

    Reply
  98. Jackie Early

     /  March 10, 2016

    Any updates on their criminal cases?

    Reply
  99. Mary Pellegrino

     /  March 10, 2016

    Jail is too good for these people

    Reply
  100. Shawn

     /  March 11, 2016

    I can’t even put into words how evil these people are.. The sheriff and all of you cityjob holders need to be charged with all the accounts of cruelty also. You POS weremade aware of the evil, disgusting treatment of these innocent animals had to endure.. Every last one of all the perpetrators need to feel the agony, pain, fear, disgust, sadness and loneliness these poor animals had to go through because of you low life evil POS didn’t care.. I pray to God that everyone last one of you sick, evil POS suffer unimaginable Pain!! So fucking horrific!!

    Reply
  101. To read this & see these pictures I’m sure doesn’t do justice to what happened to the animals placed in the care of this facility!! This IS horrendous & why something hasn’t been done sooner is disgraceful to this community!! They ought to be ashamed! Please be sure that these people get the maximum sentences for the irreparable harm, injury, agony, suffering & death they caused! It’s bad enough to euthanize healthy animals, but to inflict pain & suffering needlessly denotes character that is questionable at the very least!! I wouldn’t even want these people in my neighborhood!! Thank you for doing the right thing for the voices of those that cry out from the grave, that didn’t have a choice in the pain they suffered, or the inhumane treatment they received!!

    Reply
  102. Nicole

     /  March 11, 2016

    disgusting

    Reply
  103. Carol

     /  March 11, 2016

    I’d like to see these sobs get what they fully deserve… Reading that has shattered my heart and made me furious… Rot in hell you scumbags!!! Rest in peace beautiful ones I’m so so sorry you were failed and suffered so much :'(

    Reply
  104. Blake Halderson

     /  March 11, 2016

    I have not seen and internet petitions regarding this and wondering why. I think it is a lot harder to push under the rug if they are flooded with signatures.

    Reply
  105. I am heartbroken, how can anybody let this happen :( I hope there will huge punishment to the employers and to the management. Also I hope it will end up being a NO KILL shelter.
    R.I.P. beautiful ones, I am so so sorry this was happening to you, none of you deserved this :(

    Reply
  106. Joni Gill

     /  March 13, 2016

    These cruel idiots need to be caged!! Low life scum bags! They deserve maximum penalty for their low life actions!! Ashley you & your coworkers are pathetic!!!!

    Reply
  107. margie harris

     /  June 30, 2016

    When we cause pain, sooner or later we receive an equal or greater amount of pain. It is the law of the universe.. cause and effect. What goes around comes around.

    Reply
  108. Laura

     /  October 13, 2016

    Shelters like this, and there are more, need to be outed. Facebook or any social media is quick way to get results. Notifying authorities many times does not work as fast without a push from the public. The outraged public. This makes me sick and I would absolutely punch this bitch in the face and her “staff”.

    Reply

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