JURY AWARDS OVER $230,000 IN COSTS IN WHISKERVILLE CASE
GALVESTON, TX -- Today a Galveston County jury of two men and four women returned a verdict awarding $231,884.65 in costs in connection with the Whiskerville animal seizure case. The costs were awarded to five different agencies who had taken in 185 live cats seized from the Whiskerville Animal Sanctuary on January 3, 2012. This verdict follows last week’s jury finding that Whiskerville owner Wydell Dixon had cruelly treated over 200 cats by unreasonable abandonment.
Costs from the different agencies involved – including the Galveston County Health District, the City of Texas City, the Galveston Island Humane Society, the Houston Humane Society, and the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care – covered the necessary and reasonable expenses to feed, water, and provide proper veterinary care for the animals while the seizure case was pending. The evidence showed that the average daily cost of basic care for each cat was approximately ten dollars per day, plus veterinary care, all of which is required by law.
In the morning hours of January 3, 2012, animal control officers – responding to a tip from a concerned caller – found over 200 cats in deplorable conditions. After obtaining a civil seizure warrant signed by a Justice of the Peace, the officers seized approximately 185 live cats and 27 dead cats. Since then, the cats have remained in the legal custody of Texas City Animal Control, although they were being housed and treated among several other agencies.
As a result of the conditions found at Whiskerville, Kimberly Paskert and Wydell Dixon still each face four counts of Felony Cruelty to Animal charges in the 56th District Court of Galveston County, Texas. Each charge carries a punishment range of anywhere from 180 days up to two years in prison, with a possible fine of up to $10,000.
With a resolution to the seizure case, the Galveston County Animal Resource Center and the Galveston Island Humane Society are now hosting “Catapalooza” – offering $10 adoption fees on all of the Whiskerville cats. This fee covers micro chipping, spay/neuter, all vaccinations, and testing for feline leukemia and feline AIDS. Furthermore, this Saturday, the Galveston County Animal Resource Center, located at 3412 Loop 197 North, in Texas City will host “Hot Dogs and Cool Cats” from 12-4 pm. The public is invited to come tour the center and enjoy free sodas, hot dogs, and popcorn.