HEWITT, Texas (KWTX) – On Thursday, a Hewitt woman whose dog died after being left out in cold and icy conditions last month was arrested on animal cruelty charges.
Bennita Thomas, 35, stays in the McLennan County Jail under a $5,000 bond after her arrest on a Class A misdemeanor cruelty to non-livestock animal charge.
According to arrest records, Hewitt animal control officers were called to a home in the 600 block of Connie Drive on Jan. 26. The officer found a dead dog and called Hewitt police to assist with the case.
The officers reported finding two mixed-breed dogs that were left outside in “small wire dog crates on bare concrete with minimal bedding in the form of small blankets in the crates,” according to an arrest affidavit. One of the dogs was dead, and the officer described the other dog as the “surviving puppy.”
“The crates had no side nor upper covering aside from a blanket draped over a corner of the cage the surviving puppy was in,” the affidavit states. “The crates were not protected from the wind, rain, or moisture, offering no protection from the elements during inclement weather and below-freezing temperatures overnight on January 25th to January 26.”
A necropsy and forensic veterinary findings of the dog show that on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1, 2, and 3 showing body condition too thin, both dogs were rated a 2, the affidavit alleges.
“The report also shows that the deceased dog’s feet were wet, and the feet and some parts of the abdomen were matted with feces,” the affidavit states.
The officers noted in their reports that the night’s weather was cold and wet, with a low of 29 degrees. The dog succumbed to the elements and died “overnight due to hypothermia caused by emaciation, grossly inadequate shelter, and being left in adverse weather conditions,” the affidavit alleges.
The surviving dog was surrendered to authorities voluntarily, the affidavit states.