Cheryl Billedeau of Lionhounds WWW.LIONHOUNDS.ORG in Burleson, Texas was found innocent of all false allegations regarding a FALSE press release by Manuela Daugs and her friends. This is what The Johnson County Sherrifs Office and the Texas Humane Society findings were.
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Offense: S0819666
ON 08-26-08, DET. STEVE SHAW WAS CONTACTED BY JCSO SECRETARY MARSHA CAGLE IN REFERENCE TO A SERIES OF E-MAILS AND A PHONE CALL SHE HAD RECEIVED, CONCERNING CRUELTY TO NONLIVESTOCK ANIMALS AT 2565 FM-731, BURLESON. SEC. CAGLE RELATED THAT THE E-MAILS WERE FIRST GENERATED FROM A WOMAN IN GERMANY WHO HAD REPORTEDLY RESCUED A RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK DOG IN THE BURLESON AREA.
DEP. BOONE WENT TO 2565 FM-731, ON THE AFTERNOON OF 08-26-08, AND REPORTED BACK TO DET. SHAW, BY TELEPHONE, AFTER BEING AT THE PROPERTY. DEP. BOONE REPORTED THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
THAT NONE OF THE DOGS APPEARED TO BE MALNOURISHED OR MISTREATED. THERE WAS ONE FEMALE WHICH APPEARED TO BE THIN BUT SHE WAS OBVIOUSLY IN LACTATION. THAT NO CONTACT WAS MADE WITH ANYONE AT THE RESIDENCE, SO A CARD WAS LEFT ON THE DOOR. DET. SHAW EXPLAINED TO DEP. BOONE THAT A RETURN TRIP WOULD BE NEEDED SO THAT CONTACT COULD BE MADE WITH THE OCCUPANTS.
ON THE MORNING OF 08-27-08, DET. GARRITT BENNETT RECEIVED E-MAILS FROM STACIE NEVARES (UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT), ANGEL SMITH (HILL COUNTRY KARATE), AND BONNIE WILLIAMS (ETOSHA RESCUE).
AT APPROXIMATELY 1430 HOURS, ON 08-27-08, DEP. BOONE, DET. BENNETT, AND DET. SHAW ARRIVED AT 2565 FM-731. UPON EXITING VEHICLES, THERE WAS AN OBVIOUS SMELL OF WHAT DET. SHAW RELATED TO BE SIMILAR WITH WHAT WAS KNOWN TO BE DOGS AND DOG FECES. (COMING FROM THE TRASH DUMPSTER IN THE FRONT YARD NEAR THE GATE) THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY FIFTEEN DOGS RUNNING LOOSE IN THE FRONT YARD OF THE PROPERTY. THE THREE OFFICERS ENTERED THE PROPERTY, THROUGH THE UNLOCKED FRONT GATE, THE OFFICERS THEN MET WITH CHERYL BILLEDEAU AT THE FRONT DOOR. AFTER EXPLAINING THE NATURE OF THE VISIT, THE OFFICERS ENTERED THE RESIDENCE AND MET WITH BILLEDEAU AND THE OTHERFOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS:
DURING THIS MEETING DET. SHAW AGAIN EXPLAINED WHY THE OFFICERS HAD COME TO THE PROPERTY AND THE NUMEROUS E-MAILS WHICH HAD BEEN RECEIVED. IT WAS ALSO EXPLAINED THAT BECAUSE OF THE ONE TELEPHONE COMPLAINT THE OFFICERS NEEDED TO CHECK THE PROPERTY AND DOGS FOR VERIFICATION IF THE REPORT WAS MERITED OR NOT. CHERYL BILLEDEAU THEN BEGAN EXPLAINING THE CIVIL PROBLEMS SHE HAD BEEN HAVING WITH ANDREA BLATH (THE GERMAN WHO HAD PURCHASED THE DOG WHICH HAD STARTED ALL OF THIS COMMUNICATION) AND RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK RESCUES. BILLEDEAU RELATED THAT SHE HAD RETAINED AN ATTORNEY FOR A SLANDER SUIT SHE WAS FILING AGAINST ONE OF THE RESCUE GROUPS. BILLEDEAU RELATED THAT THE ENTIRE SITUATION WAS BASED AROUND THE FACT THAT SHE WAS A SUCCESSFUL BREEDER, OWNER, AND SHOW JUDGE OF RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK DOGS WHICH HAD CREATED JEALOUSY AMONG OTHER OWNERS. DET. SHAW EXPLAINED THE NEED TO LOOK AT, AND PHOTOGRAPH, THE DOGS, PROPERTY, FEED SUPPLIES, AND PET HEALTH SUPPLIES WHICH BILLEDEAU HAD. A REQUEST WAS ALSO MADE TO BILLEDEAU TO NOTIFY HER VET (ALVARADO VETERINARIAN HOSPITAL) TO HAVE HER VET RECORDS RELEASED TO DEP. BOONE.
THE OFFICERS THEN BEGAN WALKING THE PROPERTY, WHILE DET. BENNETT TOOK DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS. OBSERVATIONS MADE WERE AS FOLLOWS:
THE PROPERTY CONSISTED OF A FENCED TRACT, APPROXIMATELY THREE ACRES IN SIZE, WHICH CONTAINED A BRICK VENEER SITE BUILT RESIDENCE, WITH ATTACHED 6-CAR GARAGE.
APPROXIMATELY # OF DOGS ON THE PROPERTY. THESE CONSISTED OF DOGS FROM THE AGE OF NEW PUPPIES TO FULL GROWN ADULTS. THE DOGS WERE HOUSED EITHER INSIDE THE HOUSE, IN THE PUPPY KENNELS (IN THE GARAGE), OR FREE ROAMING ON THE REST OF THE PROPERTY. NO AGGRESSION BETWEEN DOGS WAS OBSERVED. NONE OF THE DOGS APPEARED TO BE MALNOURISHED OR MISTREATED. THERE WERE NO OPEN WOUNDS OBSERVED ON ANY DOG. THE DOGS IN THE GARAGE WERE COOLED BY TWO 36” FANS. NEITHER OF THESE FANS WERE CONTACT ACCESSIBLE TO THE DOGS. THERE WERE APPROXIMATELY TWENTY 50-POUND BAGS OF 28% PROTIEN DOG FOOD IN STORAGE. THE PUPPY PENS HAD WOOD SHAVINGS ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR. THESE SHAVINGS WERE CLEAN. WASTE SHAVINS WERE OBSERVED IN THE GARBAGE DUMPSTER IN THE FRONT YARD. ALSO OBSERVED IN THE DUMPSTER WAS A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF LOOSE DOG FECES. BILLEDEAU RELATED THAT NORMALLY, THE FRONT YARD, AND THE IMMEDIATE BACKYARD, ARE CLEANED THREE TIMES PER DAY, OF FECES. THERE WWERE WATER PANS (WITH CLEAN WATER) AND FEED BOWLS (WITH FEED) AVAILABLE TO ALL DOGS. THERE WERE TWO BLUE PLASTIC SWIMMING POOLS, WITH WATER, AVAILABLE FOR THE DOGS TO GET IN TO COOL THEMSELVES. THE WATER IN THAT POOL, AS WELL AS IN AN ADJACENT WATER BOWL, HAD CLEAR WATER WITH NO FLY LARVA OBSERVED. THERE WAS AN ABUNDANT SUPPLY OF MEDS AND HEALTH SUPPLIES, FOR THE DOGS, WITHIN THE RESIDENCE. AS A RESULT OF THE OBSERVATIONS MADE, THERE WERE NO ELEMENTS OF “CRUELTY TO NONLIVESTOCK ANIMALS” NOTED. WHAT WAS NOTED WAS THE NEED FOR A HIGHER DEGREE OF HOUSEKEEPING ON THE PREMISES. (BROKEN TREE LIMBS, ETC.)
WHILE AT THE LOCATION, THE OFFICERS WERE JOINED BY INVESTIGATOR TAMMY ROBERTS (HUMANE SOCIETY OF NORTH TEXAS). INV. ROBERTS RELATED THAT HER AGENCY WAS ALSO BEING FLOODED WITH THE SAME E-MAILS WHICH JCSO HAD BEEN RECEIVING. AFTER HER WALK THROUGH OF THE PROPERTY, INV. ROBERTS HAD THE SAME CONCLUSIONS AS DET. SHAW. INV. ROBERTS.
AFTER LEAVING THE PROPERTY, AT 2565 FM-731, DEP. BOONE WENT TO ALVARADO VET CLINIC AND OBTAINED THE REQUESTED VET RECORDS. AMONG THESE RECORDS WAS THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CERTIFICATE, ISSUED ON 08-12-08, FOR THE “RESCUED” DOG WHICH WAS PURCHASED BY ANDREA BLATH, AND TAKEN TO GERMANY.
PER THE FINDINGS OF THE 08-27-08 INVESTIGATION AT 2565 FM-731, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE COMPLAINT OF ANIMAL CRUELTY, AT THIS LOCATION, WAS UNFOUNDED.
DET. STEVE SHAW, CFEI
FROM THE TEXAS HUMANE SOCITY:
I am writing in response to your concerns about the Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder near Burleson, Texas.
Our lead Cruelty Investigator was on site Wednesday, August 27th at the request of an investigator from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The JCSO deputy had been on site on each of the three previous days. After this investigation, along with a review of photographs taken to document the animals and premises, it has been determined that there are no violations of Texas law at this time.
Personal inspection and photos prove that this breeding facility is one of the cleanest facilities we have encountered, with additional proof of exemplary care being afforded for the animals present.
Veterinary records for every animal on site were provided without argument. All records were then verified by the veterinarian. The vet also verified a pattern of care with their office spanning the past ten years.
I’m sure you will agree that when investigating allegations of abuse or neglect at a “puppy mill” situation, these findings, in conjunction with clean premises and healthy animals, are rare indeed.
As with our visits in the past to this same address, it has been concluded by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office that there are no violations of Texas animal law at this time. Our Cruelty Investigator has reached the same conclusion after the site inspection.
I would like to offer my personal thanks to you for your concerns about animals. Without input from citizens, we would not be able to help as many animal victims as we do.
With kind regards,