Case against Dayton-area animal rescue dismissed

DAYTON, Texas – A judge has ordered the return of 150 animals seized by The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals last week.

The SPCA must have the dogs, cats and one horse back to Puppy Dogs R Us in Dayton by 2 p.m. Wednesday.

"Extremely happy. I get all of my babies back, my personal, my shelter babies," owner Margie Michalsky told Channel 2 News after the court hearing Tuesday.

Michalsky faced possible criminal charges and the closure of her no-kill shelter.

A judge ruled that the search was illegal because of a technicality: The warrant obtained by Liberty County Sheriff's Office listed the address for the Puppy Dogs R Us kennel, but not the owner's home.

Animals were removed from both sites on the 20-acre facility.

Officials said that more than 100 dogs, several cats and a horse were found living in filthy conditions and suffering from various stages of neglect.

"We stand by it. It's a care issue. There were deplorable conditions; our vet team has reviewed all of the animals, 150 of them, there are issues, there are severe issues with some of these animals," said Houston SPCA spokesperson Kerry McKeel.

Michalsky admitted that she was overwhelmed with upkeep, and dozens of community volunteers have already started pitching in.

McKeel said the SPCA will continue to monitor Puppy Dogs R Us.

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About the Authors:

Aaron Barker has been a senior digital editor at KPRC 2 since 2016. As a meteorologist, he specializes in stories about the weather. He has covered Hurricane Harvey, the Astros first World Series win, the Santa Fe High School shooting, the ITC fire and Tropical Storm Imelda.

Emmy-winning journalist, native Houstonian, reader, dancer, yogi.