SPCA reunites 14 seized dogs with families following last month’s raid

Photo courtesy SPCA of Texas.
This cat was found by SPCA and Sheriff's Deputies lying in a room full of filth during the July 23, 2015 raid.

WAXAHACHIE — As of Tuesday, the SPCA has united 14 dogs with their families after a raid on a dog training facility in Waxahachie last month that resulted in the seizure of over 70 animals.

Stephanie Knight, Communications Specialist for SPCA of Texas, told Ellis County Citizen on Tuesday, "14 have been released, two are going today and two are going tomorrow."

The SPCA of Texas and Ellis County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) raided Maximum K-9 on July 23 after receiving an anonymous tip of animal cruelty. Gayle Justice ran the business out of her home in the 200 block of Panorama Loop in Waxahachie.

The SPCA and ECSO seized 68 dogs, three cats and one bird while also finding 15 to 20 animals deceased.

Justice was arrested during the raid and released shortly afterward on a Personal Recognizance Bond.

Residents who believe their pet may have been at the Maximum K-9 facility can call SPCA at 214-461-1850 or send an email to investigations@spca.org.

Any families who do not have their animals microchipped can contact the SPCA of Texas and provide any kind evidence, such as photos or vet records, to claim ownership of their animals.

Art Munoz, Senior Investigator for the SPCA of Texas, said families will not be charged any fees for claiming their pets.

Any animals that are not reunited with their families may be eligible for adoption on a case-by-case basis.

"We are now evaluating the others for potential adoption on a case-by-case basis. Timing of when they're available depends on what each animal has going on medically and/or behaviorally," Knight said Tuesday.

SPCA sought full custody of the animals during a court hearing on Wednesday, July 29. Justice reached an agreement with SPCA where she agreed to give up custody of the animals and reimburse SPCA for $18,309 in expenses incurred during the raid and costs related to caring for the animals through July 29.

Justice still faces one class A misdemeanor charge of Cruelty to Non-Livestock animals.

"It could end up being a felony because of the sheer number of animals," Justice's attorney Jim Jenkins said after the custody hearing.

CORRECTION: On August 5, 2015, we updated this article to correct a quote from Stephanie Knight. Because of a typing error on our part, we originally wrote that the SPCA is "not evaluating the others for potential adoption on a case-by-case basis." We corrected this quote to read, "We are now evaluating the others for potential adoption on a case-by-case basis."

Click on one of the links below to read our previous coverage of the raid on Maximum K-9.

SPCA given custody of over 70 seized animals during court hearing

Owners of missing pets encouraged to attend SPCA seizure hearing

Odors of death result in an ECSO and SPCA raid on dog training facility