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Kingsland man charged with cruelty to animals after 15 dogs, 2 cats rescued

Emaciated dogs removed from Kingsland home

Hill Country Humane Society is nursing 15 dogs and two cats back to health after they were removed from a Kingsland home on Sunday, May 29. The dogs were so starved their bodies were emaciated. Courtesy photo

Matthew Smallwood, 39, of Kingsland was charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals and released on bond after 15 dogs and two cats were confiscated from his family’s home on Sunday, May 29. 

“We got the information on Saturday, and we were over there Sunday mid-morning,” said Chief Deputy Brad Evans of the Llano County Sheriff’s Office. “We had a seizure of the dogs (warrant) signed by a judge, and the dogs and cats were removed.” 

The animals were delivered to the Hill Country Humane Society, 9150 RR 1431 West in Buchanan Dam. The shelter is taking donations to help with food and medical care for the animals until they can be placed in a forever home. Donations can include money or bags of Purina Puppy Chow and Purina Complete Food. 

“You can drop it off any day between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.,” according to a post on the Humane Society’s Facebook page. (The Facebook page reports that 18 dogs were seized, but information from the Sheriff’s Office put the number at 15 dogs and two cats.)

On Tuesday, May 31, the Hill Country Humane Society also was trying to find transportation for 10 healthy dogs to a shelter in Montana to make space for the emaciated dogs. Anyone who can help with that or donations should contact the shelter at 512-793-5463 or hillcountryhs@gmail.com.

The complaint against Smallwood was called in by “a concerned citizen,” Chief Deputy Evans told DailyTrib.com. The woman was delivering groceries to the residence when she spotted a large black dog in the yard chewing his way through a bag of rotten potatoes. The dog was so starved, his ribs were exposed, she said on a video posted on Facebook. 

The family also had a bull, a pig, and chickens, all of which were in good condition, Evans said. 

Since the arrest, the family has been harassed and threatened by people calling and driving by their house. The Sheriff’s Office will be releasing a statement sometime Wednesday or Thursday warning against any vigilante action against the family, Evans said. The statement had not been released as of the Wednesday publication deadline for DailyTrib.com. 

suzanne@thepicayune.com