East Texas veterinarian describes 'shocking' conditions at Klein animal shelter

Published: Jan. 19, 2015 at 1:14 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2015 at 3:05 AM CST
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Volunteers from Nicholas Pet Haven rescued some of the dogs, but there are still more than 100...
Volunteers from Nicholas Pet Haven rescued some of the dogs, but there are still more than 100 at the shelter. (Source: KLTV Staff)
Dr. Gary Spence says it's his goal to help get the remaining animals adopted as soon as...
Dr. Gary Spence says it's his goal to help get the remaining animals adopted as soon as possible. (Source: KLTV Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The director of an East Texas animal shelter facing animal cruelty and illegal euthanasia charges is no longer in police custody.

Angela Wallace, executive director at Richard D. Klein Animal Shelter, posted bonds totaling more than $20,000 Saturday. She was arrested Friday after a six month investigation into illegal activity at the shelter.

Dr. Gary Spence, of Spence and White Veterinary Hospital, says at first, his inspection of Klein Animal Shelter after Wallace's arrest revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

“What I saw was a clean facility. They had obviously gone in and cleaned it with some heavy duty cleaning. We went cage to cage to cage and just saw healthy animals,” he says.

But Dr. Spence says that changed when he got to the shelter's freezers.

“I just kind of went blank… I opened the second one and it was full to the top and none of the animals in it were frozen. They had all been in there less than 24 hours,” says Dr. Spence.

He says dozens of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens were all hastily euthanized before an inspection by the state.

“There should not be a freezer full of animals like that, that have been put down within a 24 hour period. That's kind of suspicious,” he says.

Several animals rescued from the shelter were found abused and neglected… like “Little Man,” a chihuahua who was suffering with two broken legs.

“The poor little dog had been walking on its hind legs for four to six weeks from what I understand,” says Dr. Spence.

There was also Henry,

“He's going to be paralyzed, so he will be in a wheelchair. The surgery and all the other medical costs is going to be somewhere from $8,000 to $10,000,” says Olivia Hardt Griffith, spokesperson for Nicholas Pet Haven.

She says they're working to get several of the pets they rescued adopted.

“We're relying on donations of food and money to take care of the animals,” says Hardt Griffith.

There are still more than 100 healthy and adoptable animals at the shelter, but Dr. Spence says he plans to change that.

“What I would like to do is get our rescue groups together. The SPCA of East Texas, Nicholas Pet Haven, [and] the animal rescue bunches... I'd like to have all of them there in a mass to bring their trailers, bring their tents and have an adoption day,” he says.

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