In Forney, Texas, a school teacher has been charged with animal cruelty after authorities seized 452 rabbits from her home. Penny Jean Newton, 58, was charged on Thursday with cruelty to non-livestock animals and failing to provide care of the animals.
According to the SPCA of Texas, press release, Newton surrendered herself to authorities after a warrant was issued for her last week.
The disturbing discovery was made on March 6 when the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office and the SPCA of Texas removed the rabbits. Previously authorities had seized 166 rabbits, 36 guinea pigs, 12 goats, five cats, one dog and a bull from the property in 2013.
“The rabbits were found inside of crates inside a large, barn-type structure covered with tarp and other materials. In some places, more than four crates were stacked on top of one another. The crates were filled with feces, hair, dirt and debris, and the rabbits had little access to appropriate food or water. Many crates contained multiple rabbits, including numerous litters of juvenile rabbits. Two deceased rabbits were found on the property. The rabbits appear to have various medical issues, including long nails, hair loss, missing ears, missing eyes, wounds, matted fur and injured limbs.
Some of the rabbits were pregnant and since the seizure of the animals, 33 rabbits have given birth to more than 200 babies. Besides local adoption centers and foster homes in the area, the SPCA of Texas has reached out to rescue groups across the country including Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Newton is no longer employed as a math teacher in the Forney school system.
To help support the SPCA of Texas and its efforts to help abused, neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas’ other programs and services, please visit www.spca.org/helptheanimals. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at www.spca.org.
Yesterday: Woman dumps dog at shelter play yard – more here.
More: Bird who alerted drug dealers to raid finds himself in custody – more here.
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