COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Colbert Animal Services (CAS) has filed a lawsuit against a woman charged with animal cruelty after authorities discovered dead horses and other malnourished animals on her property.
Debra Catledge was arrested on multiple animal cruelty charges in early October, but prior to that she was no stranger to animal-related cases. She was convicted in 2013 after authorities rescued more than 120 small dogs that were found in cages outside her home.
On Oct. 19, CAS filed a petition for a hearing to determine that Catledge is unable to properly provide for the animals and to determine what costs have been sustained by CAS to care for the animals.
In the petition, CAS requests that the court to order Catledge to pay those incurred costs for the dogs’ care.
On October 1, deputies say they discovered 28 dead horses and several other malnourished animals on Catledge’s property which led to her most recent arrest. Catledge has since bonded out of the Colbert County Jail, but deputies and animal advocates have not stopped the pursuit of recovering animals from Catledge’s care.
Court documents show that animal services agents found 46 dogs that were neglected or cruelly treated, and 2 deceased dogs, in the custody and control of Catledge, on property owned by her on Highway 72 in Cherokee.
Officers of CCAS removed the dogs at said location and placed them in protective custody, and said animals remain in the custody of animal services, according to court records.
“The removal of the animals was conducted by Colbert Animal Services because of the immediate risk of injury or death of the animals in that the animals were severely malnourished, caused to be confined and constrained in an area so as to be in constant contact with their own waste, and severely matted,” the lawsuit states.
Despite the request by CAS, no hearing has been set as of the time this article was published.
News 19 will continue to follow this case and provide updates as we get them.