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

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A man arrested for failing to properly care for 20 dogs faces charges of animal cruelty and confining animals without sufficient food and water.

The city has filed a petition to remove Terry Thomas’ pets. The 48-year-old had been cited in the past for keeping animals in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

LILY: Petition for the permanent removal and custody of abused animals | Terry Thomas Arrest Report

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

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Animal Care and Protection Services seized the dogs on Wednesday and a warrant was issued. The request for the removal of the animal filed in 2021 indicated that many dogs were covered in feces, suffered from injuries and suffered from other untreated health problems.

The house is on Castle Boulevard on the Northside. Records show the owner was arrested in 2021 and charged with confining animals without enough food and water.

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

Photo of the scene on Northside.

The dogs – and two rabbits – were taken to Animal Care and Protection 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 a lot of them and there’s a lot of evidence to collect from the scene, from the people and from the dogs even later.”

In addition to the crates, heavy chains were seen attached to posts, and some of these chains had dog collars attached. Crosby said he has seen similar equipment used in separate investigations involving dogfighting allegations.

Records show the charge was dropped, but the city filed a motion to remove the abused animals. The owner did not respond to the petition and on Wednesday the city moved to remove the animals.

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

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Vice Squad and Animal Care and Protection Services issued an arrest warrant Wednesday at a North Side home, and a city spokesperson said it is expects nearly 20 dogs to be removed.

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Jennifer R. Strohm