KIMBLE COUNTY, Texas – A woman who a local animal shelter believed was "saving" dozens of dogs by transporting them to be adopted was arrested after authorities allege she was actually driving the dogs to other parts of the state and dumping them on rural roads.
Katreena Lynn Martin, 28, was arrested Sunday on four counts of suspicion of cruelty to animals after four dogs were found near a road and empty kennels were discovered in her van in Kimble County, according to media reports. That's about 150 miles away from the Atascosa County Animal Control shelter, where the dogs were previously held.
Staff at the Atascosa shelter believed Martin was helping them by transporting dogs that otherwise might have been euthanized. In December, the shelter posted photos on Facebook of Martin loading dogs into her gray Dodge minivan at the shelter and thanking her for her help.
"Thanks to the Martins pulling and transporting 22 of our long term adoptable dogs, other adoptable dogs now have a new lease on life," the post on the shelter's Facebook read.
But after West Texas authorities began investigating dozens of dogs dumped on a stretch of highway in recent months, readers matched photos in media reports of the dogs to animals previously housed at the Atascosa shelter, according to Go San Angelo.
Katreena Martin, and her husband Wayne Martin, were seen by a witness who was doing surveillance at the Atascosa shelter in Jourdanton loading several dogs into the back of a gray Dodge minivan Sunday, FOX West Texas reported.
About three hours later, the van was spotted in Kimble County by a Texas Game Warden taking the FM 3130 exit, before reappearing on I-10 about four minutes later, according to FOX.
The Game Warden followed the path of the van and picked up dogs that were dumped. They positively identified three out of four dogs as having been taken from the Atascosa shelter.
Deputies with the Kimble County Sheriff's Office then pulled the pair over and asked about the empty kennels in the van.
They told deputies they had recently delivered dogs to a rescue organization in Midland but were unable to provide documentation or any further details, according to Go San Angelo.
"It was determined that (Martin) was supposedly transporting these dogs to a 'rescue' based off a Facebook post from (the shelter) thanking them for transporting them to their furever home. All the while, their 'furever home' was actually multiple exits along Interstate 10," Wheless Baker, who helped rescue some of the dumped dogs, said in an emailed statement to Go San Angelo.
The newspaper reported a total of 76 dogs were dumped in Sutton County and more than 40 have been dumped in Kimble and Crockett counties in recent months.
It isn't clear whether Wayne Martin was charged.
KSAT has reached out to the Kimble County Sheriff's Office and Atascosa County Animal Control shelter for comment.