Live Oak resident Timothy Talbert, 43, could face additional charges of animal abuse connected to the discovery of 14 cats and five dogs allegedly being kept in unhealthy conditions.
Talbert was arrested Monday on four counts of abuse of a non-livestock animal.
But Live Oak police said the investigation is continuing and could lead to more charges.
According to Sgt. Anita Seamans, officers made the discovery after answering a call Jan. 10 about “flies and a strong odor” coming from a home in the 7600 block of Antique Oak Drive.
Seamans said they found fecal matter outside the home and could see a large number of flies inside the home.
Later, she said investigators discovered Talbert owned that home as well as one directly across the street where he lived with his mother.
When officers entered the second home, Seamans said they also noticed a strong odor there as well as evidence of animals being housed in an illegal way.
“The animals were being kept in cages. They were not allowed out. They appear to be very underweight,” she said. "Many of the officers that were having to go in and out of that room to remove the cats and help in this investigation were becoming physically ill."
"(Talbert) knows that you cannot house animals in the way that he was housing them,” Seamans said. “So was it malicious? No. Did he know better? Yep."
Seamans said officers seized five cats right away.
A few days later, Talbert surrendered the others to members of the Schertz Humane Society, she said.
Ironically, he told police he was “fostering” some of the cats for the agency.
Requests for an interview with the Humane Society were denied.
However, in an email, an unidentified member said that only some of the cats were “fosters.”
The person further stated that the animals had actually been placed into the care of Talbert’s wife “many years ago,” but she has since died.
The email said that the Humane Society believed Talbert would continue to provide good care to them.
The agency said it has not placed any additional animals in his home since the death of his wife in 2007.
Animal control officers said it appears all 14 cats eventually will be eligible for adoption.