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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Two East Texans are behind bars after being arrested on two separate animal cruelty charges.

Richard Stevenson was taken into custody after the SPCA of Texas removed 12 Chihuahua-type dogs from a home back on June 14. Conditions inside Stevenson’s home were described as “deplorable.”

Ammonia levels inside reached more than 200 parts per million (ppm). For reference, any long-term exposure over 12 ppm can cause health problems. The dogs were suffering from multiple conditions, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnourishment
  • Internal and external parasite infection

Tammy Tucker was arrested after six dogs were removed from her home in July. The dogs were abandoned without access to food, water, or proper air circulation during the heat of the summer.

The SPCA of Texas had received complaints of animal cruelty and opened investigations. Both charges are Class A misdemeanors in Texas. It is punishable up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000, or both.

It was not clear from the release why it took months for them to be arrested.

Richard Stevenson and Tammy Tucker (Photos: Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office)