Weatherford Democrat

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August 23, 2013

Cruelty charges dropped

County prosecutors dismiss charges against woman in case involving 58 dogs seized

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Prosecutors have dropped all animal cruelty charges against a Parker County woman who had 58 dogs seized from her home last year due to the animals’ living conditions and health.

The Parker County Attorney’s Office recently dropped two class A misdemeanors charges of animal cruelty stemming from the seizure in May 2012 in a plea deal that resulted in Teresa Lynn Weldon pleading guilty to an unrelated theft in an amount more than $500 and less than $1,500. Two additional theft charges from last summer were dropped as a part of the deal, as well.

Receiving a sentence of a week in jail and a $100 fine, the 49-year-old Weldon spent three days in the Parker County Jail after her sentencing for the theft, according to jail records.

Prior to the seizure last year, Weldon, who was associated with non-profit Four Paws and Hooves Animal Rescue and was a former animal control officer with the city of Everman, was reportedly obtaining large numbers of dogs from North Texas animal shelters, including Fort Worth and Arlington.

Weeks before the seizure, the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter denied a request to transfer animals to her rescue because of several red flags, officials said.

The dogs were removed from her home in the 900 block of Lynch Bend Road on May 9, 2012, after animal control officers responded to a tip about excessive animals at the residence.

Of the 58 dogs seized, 31 were held in crates, many stacked on top of each other, in the house, according to the sheriff’s office. Others were roaming freely in the home.

The dogs in the house did not appear to have been fed or watered that day and some were living in their own urine and feces, according to animal control officers.

Several outdoor pens with puppies contained animal feces, urine and vomit, according to the sheriff’s office.

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