Man arrested, charged with animal cruelty after 20 dogs seized from home

Terry Thomas charged with animal cruelty after 20 dogs were seized from his home (JSO)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man arrested for not properly caring for 20 dogs faces charges of animal cruelty and confining animals without sufficient food and water.

The city filed a petition to removed the animals from Terry Thomas. The 48-year-old man had been cited in the past for keeping animals in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

READ: Petition for permanent removal and custody of mistreated animals | Arrest report for Terry Thomas

According to the arrest report--a bite stick, spring pull rope, bait trap, syringes, wound treatment spray and supplements were also found inside Thomas’ home.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Animal Care & Protective Services seized the dogs Wednesday, and an arrest warrant was issued. The petition for removal of the animal filed in 2021 said that many of the dogs were covered in feces, suffered wounds, and had other untreated medical conditions.

The home is on Castle Boulevard on the Northside. Records show the owner was arrested in 2021 and accused of confining animals without sufficient food and water.

Crates of animals could be seen in the backyard, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Zone 5 Community Problem Response (or C.P.R.) Team was on scene.

Photo from scene on Northside.

The dogs — and two rabbits — were taken to Animal Care and Protective Services in Downtown Jacksonville.

Jim Crosby is an animal cruelty expert and he used to work for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“It takes a while to process these scenes,” Crosby explained. “I’ve been on many of them and there’s a lot of evidence to be gathered from the scene, from the people and from the dogs even later.”

In addition to the crates, heavy chains were seen attached to poles, and some of those chains had dog collars attached. Crosby said he’s seen similar equipment used in separate investigations that involved allegations of dog fighting.

Records show that charge was dropped, but the city filed a petition to remove the mistreated animals. The owner defaulted on the petition, and on Wednesday, the city acted to remove the animals.

“The next step is to get the animals proper veterinary care and to make sure they have the proper nutritional needs—that they haven’t been starved or deprived,” Crosby said.

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