Over 200 animals seized from an animal shelter in Wolfe City are now in the custody of the Texas SPCA.
In a custody hearing Thursday morning, Judge Sheila Linden awarded the custody of the animals, which were seized from Frank Barchard Animal Shelter on the morning of July 23, to the SPCA along with $61,876 in restitution for conducting an investigation, hiring expert witnesses, and for the care and housing of the animals.
The shelter is located in Wolfe City, but is run by the Commerce Humane Association. Shelter president Jody McIntier did not speak at the hearing, according to the Greenville Herald-Banner, due to her attorney not being present at the hearing which was originally scheduled for 2 p.m., but was moved to 9 a.m. McIntier says she plans on appealing the decision.
The animals are currently being held at an SPCA facility in McKinney, where they will stay, pending the appeal. If the SPCA is awarded custody following the appeal, then they will try to find homes for the animals. According to the Greenville Herald-Banner, some animals have already had to be euthanized due to health reasons that could not be cured, with one dog dying in SPCA care due to a heart failure.
The City of Commerce issued this statement Thursday afternoon:
"The City of Commerce would like to take this opportunity to inform citizens that in no way is the City of Commerce associated with the Frank Barchard Animal Shelter or the group calling themselves the Commerce Humane Society."
McIntier has ten days to appeal the decision.