COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Colbert County woman charged with animal abuse is being ordered to pay thousands of dollars for the care of 46 dogs seized from her care by animal services.
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, Colbert Animal Services (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 requested that the court order Catledge to pay those incurred costs for the dogs’ care.
That hearing was set for November 8, and at the hearing, Colbert County District Judge Chad Smith found that Catledge was the owner of the dogs and was ‘unable, unwilling, or unfit to adequately provide for or protect the dogs.’ The judge also found Catledge responsible for the costs associated with the seizure and boarding of the 46 dogs.
Court documents show that Smith ordered, “That the sum of $10,802.00 shall be paid to the Colbert Animal Services within 30 days of today’s date. Further, the Court will retain jurisdiction to charge additional monies for each monthly bill, received by the Defendant, from the Colbert Animal Services for the period of November 1, 2023, up and until all of the dogs are released from the care of the Colbert Animal Services.”
Animal services agents reportedly 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 order states Catledge has 14 days from the day the order was entered to file an appeal.