Affidavit: Smith County animal rescue leader kept animals in inhumane conditions
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The director of an East Texas nonprofit was arrested on charges of animal cruelty this week.
Kym McRee, who is listed as the director of the nonprofit organization K9′s & Heroes, was arrested on Tuesday on a charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals. She has since posted the $10,000 bond amount listed. According to an affidavit, on August 15, 2022, it was found that McRee had “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly” failed to provide “food, water, care and shelter” for 15 dogs.
The investigating officer said they received photos of several large dogs and a Macaw parrot in cages or kennels outside of McRee’s residence in which some of the kennels did not provide adequate shade and some did not have water for the dogs. Some of the kennels also appeared to be extremely dirty. The officer also stated that several photos were obtained where a dog was seen with several scars on its face and dead compared to photos of the dog prior to being put into McRee’s care where the animal did not have scars.
One witness told the investigating officer that they had put their dog into McRee’s care for training, and when they were told to come reclaim the dog due to McRee becoming ill, they found that their dog had lost weight, had become extremely anxious and now had scarring on its elbows and knees. A subsequent medical examination also revealed the dog had hookworms and a bacterial infection, likely caused by the dog being exposed to standing water and feces.
Another witness also told the investigating officer that their dog also had been diagnosed with hookworms and a bacterial infection as well after being under McRee’s care.
On August 15, 2022, a search warrant was executed at McRee’s property where the investigator said they observed several dogs in conditions similar to what had previously been depicted in photographs, including dogs appearing emaciated and filthy and cages inside the residence filled with old and new fecal matter. The investigating officer said they were not able to search the entirety of the house due to a fear of bodily harm from the toxicity of large amounts of urine and fecal matter.
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