Couple In Hunt County Charged With Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals

Ricky Lynn Hoots and Rebecca Jayyne Waits were arrested on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, in connection with the case of a cruelly treated dog removed by the SPCA of Texas from a property in Hunt County in December of 2018. The individuals were booked into the Hunt County Justice Center, each charged with Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals, “fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal in the person’s custody,” a Class A Misdemeanor. A bond of $3,500 was set for each individual. The case has been filed with the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

These arrests and charges stem from the case of a dog removed from a property in Hunt County on December 20, 2018. The dog, a 1-year-old Boxer mix named Puddin, was found tethered in the backyard of the property and appeared to be severely underweight.

The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of alleged animal cruelty from the Hunt County Constable’s Office, Pct. 1, on December 20, 2018, and an SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigator visited the property the same day. The SPCA of Texas’ investigator made contact with the owners, who agreed to surrender Puddin to the SPCA of Texas. Further investigation and multiple interviews with the owners provided the SPCA of Texas’ investigator with the evidence needed to file criminal animal cruelty charges.

He was transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, where he was examined by a veterinarian, placed on a starvation feeding protocol and monitored by medical staff. His initial examination revealed that he had multiple scars all over his body, fly bites on his ears and a body condition score of 1/9. For reference, a BCS of 4-5/9 is considered ideal using the Purina Body Scoring System. He tested positive for heartworms and intestinal parasites, and his tail appeared to have been docked unprofessionally at an earlier time.

Puddin was successfully treated for his medical issues and adopted from the SPCA of Texas’ Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center in Dallas on February 2, 2019.

Story Courtesy of SPCA of Texas