Police have identified the woman arrested for her alleged part in what Rescue the Animals, SPCA investigators called the worst case of animal cruelty they’d seen in this area of Texas.
Doneil Lee Strawbridge was arrested after authorities found 25 dogs, only 19 of which survived, and one surviving cat living in filthy conditions at a home in Eastland County.
According to investigators, Strawbridge had been living in the home recently caring for an elderly relative who had passed away. While living in the home, Strawbridge and her small children had been using a five gallon bucket in the kitchen as a toilet, as the rest of the house was in such ill repair.
According to Rescue the Animals, SPCA investigator Mindi Cosby, the animals that died were killed by fleas and lack of food.
Strawbridge has been charged with one count of cruelty against a non-live stock animal, a Class A misdemeanor.
She has bonded out of jail at this time.
The following is from Rescue the Animals, SPCA regarding a recent case of animal cruelty that investigators claim is worst they've seen in this area of Texas:
Rescue the Animals, SPCA investigators Lynn Pitcox and Mindi Cosby call this the “worst ever” case of animal cruelty in West Texas. Following a call to Rescue the Animals, SPCA our investigators visited the site in Eastland County on July 9. They immediately called the Eastland County Sheriff’s office and Temi Nichols, Eastland Animal Control Officer, for help when they saw the incredibly terrible conditions.
The owner of the home was elderly and had died recently leaving a house, barn, out buildings, horse trailer, and RV on the property with dogs, chickens, ducks, rabbits and other birds without food and water.
Further investigation by the Eastland Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest on Thursday, July 10 of a relative who had been living on the location for many months with her small children and caring for the elderly woman. For information on this arrest call Chief Deputy Randy Hooks in Eastland at 254-629-1774.
Many of the animals were locked in cages, trailers, and buildings without food or water. Several dead animals were found on the location. RTA investigators rushed three animals back to Abilene on the first day and one died overnight at a local vet clinic. On Thursday, July 10 they returned to the location with help from deputies Randy Hooks, Ben Yarbrough, and Josh Nichols from Eastland County.
At this time they were finally able to enter the home and other enclosures that had been inaccessible on day one. Newborn puppies were in a horse trailer, the leg of a dog was found near the bed where the elderly woman had slept. The puppies died in route to Abilene, and two other dead dogs were found in the yard.
Over 25 dogs were on the property. 19 of these are still alive and are now at Rescue the Animals or Animal Health and Medical Center. One surviving cat was found.
“The animals that died were killed by fleas and lack of food” said Mindi Cosby. When washed, one small Chihuahua was completely covered in the blood from the fleas on its body.
Piles of feces covered the floor of the horse trailer, and the only commode in the home was filled and stopped up. The humans seemed to be using a 5 gallon bucket in the kitchen for human waste.