Animal shelter called house of horrors

Haylee's Haven owner facing criminal charges; Worker says dogs shot with rifle

A woman running an animal shelter is being accused of operating a house of horrors instead.

The Defenders found the remains of dead animals on the former site of Haylee's Haven, in east Bexar County.

Criminal charges are now being filed against the woman who runs the shelter, Patricia Hervey.

The Haylee's Haven website shows pets with bunny ears and tells those interested that "we offer a safe haven for pets" and are "glad to make room for them."

But animal advocates say Hervey took animals in for a fee, kept them in filthy conditions and then adopted out only some of the animals while killing others to make room for more.

Around a pond out back there are bones of perhaps dozens of animals.

Dominic Potter is a former employee who said he witnessed some of the horrors.

"They were putting dogs down by a 0.22 (rifle) bullet to the back of the head," Potter said.

He said it was not just sick dogs that were put down.

"A few of the dogs that they put down were getting too aggressive to handle," Potter said. "But a lot of them they called it 'population reduction.'"

Eli Bryan is an animal advocate from Wilson County.

"It was a business," Bryan said. "You know, I don't think she cared about them. I think she was in it for the money."

Hervey was evicted from the East Bexar County home and moved the operation to a place in South Bexar County. A sheriff's deputy was there earlier this month to accompany Darla Cherry, of Meadow Haven Horse Rescue. Cherry had given Hervey a number of horses to adopt out and found out some disturbing news.

"They've sold them (or) got rid of them. They're not accounted for," Cherry said.

She wanted the rest back. She also said she donated hay to Hervey.

"I actually gave her round bales to take care of those horses and she sold them." Cherry said. "I found out from the person that bought them."

Hervey denied killing adoptable pets and said Potter was not told to shoot dogs.

"No he was not and that's a lie," Hervey said. "That is a lie."

She said only sick and stray animals were killed.

"We had an outbreak of distemper that we got from ACS," Hervey said. "Those are the bodies that you're seeing back there."

The sheriff's department has also gotten complaints about Haylee's Haven.They investigated and now Deputy Louis Antu said criminal charges have been filed against Hervey.

"These 62 cases that we're filing can go up to at least $32,000 in fines." Antu said.

The sheriff's department is also investigating animal cruelty charges.

Animal advocates say they just want Hervey out of business for good.

Earlier this month, Hervey pled guilty to the theft of livestock in Comal County and was sentenced to five years probation, fees totaling nearly $5,000 and 300-hours of community service.

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