Trying to reach WHNT News 19? Our phones are down right now, but you can contact us by email here

Woman Charged in Colbert County Animal Cruelty Case

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.



COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - The woman who had more than 120 dogs on her property on Highway 72 near Cherokee is now charged in the case.

Sheriff Ronnie May says Debra Catledge, 53, is charged with 15 counts of second-degree animal cruelty.

Catledge is in the Colbert County Jail.  The district attorney said more charges are expected.

Earlier this week, animal control officers and sheriff's deputies found more than 120 small dogs kept in cages, outside, on Catledge's property. She was not taken into custody until Thursday.

Animals NOT Available for Adoption Yet

The dogs are in the care of the Colbert County Animal Shelter.  Workers turned over a majority of the dogs to out-of-state rescue groups Friday morning, because the shelter was not able to handle such a large number of dogs.

There are about 10 to 15 Yorkies/Pomeranians still at the shelter, but the public will not be allowed to view these dogs until next week.  The shelter is still caring for the dogs and says they are not in good enough condition for adoption yet, even though they might not appear sick.

The shelter IS open for people who want to adopt other dogs at the shelter; dogs that were already there before the large rescue load came in Tuesday.


  • Wes

    That slime should have to live in the same conditions she put those poor animals through! Lock her up and throw away the key!!

  • jamison-jones

    Here is the mother of all ironies…a rich kid kills 4 people and gets away with it and some one ‘starves’ little , screwy dogs and gets indicted for a ‘crime’….whats the world coming to??

    whats she facing? 2 years in county jail and a fine of $10, 000??

  • Shirley Frod

    I thin she should be severely punished. How cruel. It has been freezing. She should be put outside to stay in a cage and see how those little dogs felt. Thank God they were found.

    • AL Runner

      lay off of them, news hipster. stop telling people how to feel.
      why don’t you go volunteer with the peace corps or something and make a real difference. be part of the solution.

    • cmarcieb

      Everything that lives hurts, gets cold, gets hungry, etc… The one difference in these dogs and humans is people are supposed to have a soul!!!!

    • Laramie

      That wasn’t even here, you moron. If you want to fight that injustice, take yourself to Texas and fight the good fight. Or EDUCATE YOURSELF, learn how to use proper grammar and spelling and become a lawmaker. Either way, stop trashing people for caring about animals. Everything that lives and breathes deserves to be taken care of… not just the mighty human species.

  • jamison-jones

    i aint cursed out nobody!! ….Can’t be worried about some screwy, little dogs when someone is getting away with killing 4 other human beings cause they suffer from ‘affluenza’. now who’s the idot here???

    • AL Runner

      no one accused you of cursing anyone. again – quit telling people how to feel. who do you think you are, anyway? as far as I can tell, no one here put dogs over the human life. this article is about dogs, so we are upset over dogs. if you look at the human life article, people are upset there too. stop being a news hipster.

  • sandra hood

    Jones..maybe you should be kept in a cage like the screwy little dogs and then maybe you would have a different opinion.

  • Tori

    This lady has some serious nerve to malnourish those poor innocent dogs. Animals are completely trusting us to take care of them and then you have careless idiots like her treating an innocent animal like so. It just blows my mind. I do not know how she could listen to those babies whimper and not want to do something. She’s sick and twisted obviously. Jamison-jones: might you consider a dictionary and an education before your next post. None of these people sound dumb, except yourself.

  • jamison-jones

    the rich kid who killed 4 HUMAN BEINGS aint in jail CUZ HE’S TOO PRIVILEGED!!!! and someone with a few screwy, little malnourished dogs is ..where is the justice??..someone please explain this to me!!

    • AL Runner

      maybe you should go join a protest. you aren’t doing anyone any good by screaming through your keyboard at a bunch of people who aren’t involved anyway. get over yourself.

  • BamaBrie

    Perhaps Jamison-Jones should seek scholorships to go to law school ino order to do criminal prosecution work. Or to work for legal aid. To take a story line about helpless animals and an arrest for animal cruelty and try to turn it into something it is not is a deflection. People can have opinions about how we treat each other and the perceived shortcomings of our legal system while still having an opinion on someone who commits crimes related to animals. The two are not mutually exclusive. In the amount of time some people spend commenting on these stories, they could spend that same time helping disenfranchised creatures – human or animal.

  • Chris

    They’re dogs. Soulless animals. No one gets all emotional on message boards every time they hear a rat trap spring and snap the neck of a rat they lured to its death. There would have been no issue if there were rabbits in these “rabbit cages”. Where is it written that dogs are to be set apart from other soulless creatures.

    • BamaBrie

      Aside from your procolamation about dogs being soul-less, it is written in the laws of our state. Take a look at Code of Alabama, Title 13A, Sections 13A-11-240 through 13A-11-247. You can find them on the web site for the legislature.

  • Mari Nunez

    This is not an argument, this is the REASON people get upset about the mistreatment of animals. Dogs were not put on this earth by any God. They were bred for the amusement of humans, or to be workers for humans. They can not fend for themselves as other wild animals can. Humans put them here; therefore, humans are responsible for their care. When a human abuses the privilege of owning a dog, they should be punished.
    Now, as far as for the “affluent” teen, perhaps the blame should be on the judge who gave such a lenient sentencing and not on the animal lovers on this site. The teen didn’t get away with the crime because dog lovers are sad about the mistreatment of dogs. Common sense? Unfortunately it can not be taught.

  • Wes

    Mr Jones, your argument is to say the least pathetic. You obviously are one that feels entitlements are owed to you and the fact little dogs are being rescued by caring humans somehow makes you feel you should be getting the attention. I really do feel sorry for your ignorance concerning animal care, good luck in life, you will need it.

  • Ariel

    all the living creatures have souls and all feel the same emotions we do and its stupid to think anything less because we are animals too! torturing animals should be a felony because it takes a souless person to hurt an innocent animal, but justice is not about whats right and wrong anymore its who can pay us the most money.

  • Ariel

    if you really think any God created youre sorry, SOULLESS self and not loving, loyal animals than you must be living in some sick kind of fantasy land. Reading some of the posts on here makes me sick that some humans are really that heartless. We are animals too we have the exact same feelings and needs as other animals. there are so many other things id like to say to you worthless beings but whnt wont let me.

  • Ariel

    they only like to punish people who smoke an herb . in this state you can rape kill and steal and no body cares. if you can hurt an animal you can hurt a person to and you SHOULD be punished the same

  • Ariel

    the justice system is just so dirty and money hungry now theres really no point is discussing what right and wrong because thats not whats its about anymore anyway.

Comments are closed.