Noah's Ark owner accused of animal cruelty

HOUSTON – Heather Schmidt, who runs Noah's Ark animal sanctuary, is charged with animal cruelty.

Prosecutors said she failed to provide the animals food, water, care and shelter.

On Dec. 22, Harris County Precinct 1 deputy constables seized multiple animals from the shelter.

Court documents said the animals included an emaciated Chihuahua, and dogs with limps, tumors and fractured bones from allegedly improper veterinary care.

There were also numerous cats, some of which were dead, and some that had no water or litter boxes and were confined to a room that was allegedly filled with an overwhelming odor of ammonia, which officials say is evidence the animals were living in their own feces.

Erin Tucker said she's been trying to report Schmidt for many years, but Schmidt was always able to avoid any charges.

"It's been a very sad ordeal," Tucker said.

She said she spoke with the prosecutor, who she said is going to offer Schmidt 180 days in jail. Tucker says she's pleased with that as a possible sentence.