Eighty-nine cats, one dog, seized from Florence animal shelter: WilCo Regional Animal Shelter takes in animals


Ninety animals have found themselves relocated to Georgetown after an animal cruelty complaint from the Texas Department of State Health Services triggered the investigation of their original home at the R.U.G Activity Center Animal Shelter in Florence.

The animals in question, 89 cats and one dog, were seized by Animal Control on Wednesday morning.

“They’re all settling in now,” Cheryl Schneider, Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter director, said. “Some of them are in good condition. There are cases of upper respiratory infections and some have ringworm.”

According to Schneider, ringworm takes two to three months to clear up. The animals are still being evaluated by staff and a veterinarian who will be stopping by to check on the health of all 90 animals.  

“If this had to happen, it’s probably the best time because we have a low census of cats right now,” Schneider said. “We probably had 60 cats here before they got here. If this would have happened in mid-summer we would have been panicking.”

Schneider said the shelter is seeking donations of cat food, cat toys, towels and cleaning supplies. They are also hoping locals will step in to foster and adopt the healthy cats. 

“We really need monetary donations for medical purposes,” she said. “Some of these cats that can’t get adopted right away might be spending a few months here.”

According to reports form the Williamson County Sheriffs Office, the R.U.G Activity Center Animal Shelter received 40 violations by the state health inspector. Improper food storage, unkempt facilities, inadequate lighting and having feces on the ground were some of the violations named.

Animal Control will continue investigating this case. The owner of the Florence shelter, Daniel Hoch, is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, March 27.

“There’s not a week that goes by where I don’t hear about someone who has good intentions with animals that gets in over their head,” Schneider said.