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Shelter finding homes for 176 animals taken from home

A $1,750 fine and forfeiture of more than 170 animals was the ruling issued Nov. 8 to a Buda-area homeowner accused of holding cats and dogs in “unhealthy conditions.”

Hays County Pct. 5 Justice of the Peace Scott Cary issued the ruling against Buda area resident Melissa Caffey in a signed agreement, according to a release. The ruling was issued after 161 cats and 15 dogs were confiscated Nov. 1 following a report of inhumane treatment at a home in the Leisure Woods subdivision near Buda. Along with the fine, Cary ruled the animals be turned over to the city of San Marcos and the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

Cary said his ruling came as many of the animals taken from Caffey’s home were determined to be “cruelly treated” and in unhealthy conditions. According to the statement, some animals in poor health may have to be euthanized as they cannot be adopted about. Those animals not adopted or brought to another shelter may face the same result.

Caffey was operating her home as Leisure Cat Animal Rescue on the 200 block of Towhee Dr. The shelter is filed as a 501(c)(3), according to county officials and a tax-exempt database.

San Marcos officials report the shelter has employed outreach efforts over the past week to find owners for some of the microchipped animals, which may have been lost before being kept in the home.

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter serves all of Hays County and is significantly above capacity, so it will not take in more animals until further notice. San Marcos officials are urging county residents to hold onto stray animals they find or locate other solutions.

Those interested in adopting or fostering these animals can contact the shelter at along with those who feel their missing animal may be a part of the group.

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