SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman on animal cruelty charges Monday after a TikTok video led them to discover lemurs at her home.
Kristy Lee Arredondo, 35, is charged with two counts of cruelty to a non-livestock animal, Sheriff Javier Salazar said Monday afternoon.
Salazar said investigators began looking into her in late December after seeing a TikTok video of two caged ring-tailed lemurs in San Antonio. Lemurs are among several exotic animals that are prohibited within Bexar County’s jurisdiction, the sheriff said.
Investigators were able to identify Arredondo after finding her social media business, known as “Alamo City Frenchie Cartel,” which appeared to be a dog breeding business.
When investigators and Animal Care Services visited Arredondo’s home in the 6900 block of Ithaca Forest, they found one caged lemur and the remains of a second lemur thrown behind the back fence of the property, Salazar said.
The living lemur was determined to be in distress, the sheriff said. According to Arredondo’s arrest affidavit, the lemur appeared to be “depressed, lethargic and malnourished.” It was also surrounded by several dogs, creating a stressful environment.
“It was not in very good health,” Salazar said. “It was not very well cared for.”
Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Arredondo and arrested her on Monday.
Arredondo told deputies that she bought the lemurs for $3,000 from someone she contacted on Facebook after Halloween. She told investigators she thought it was legal to own lemurs in Texas after doing her own research, according to the affidavit.
Arredondo said one of the lemurs was eventually injured and she tried giving it an antibiotic used for dogs. The lemur lived for another week before dying, she told detectives according to the affidavit.
Cruelty to a non-livestock animal is a third-degree felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.