79 animals rescued from Travis Co. home

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Nearly 80 cats and dogs rescued last week from a home in northeast Travis County were turned over to animal rescue groups Friday.

The animals were rescued as part of an animal cruelty investigation and placed in the custody of the City of Austin. Animal services seized 48 cats, 24 kittens and seven dogs from the home that had been neglected, the city said.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office Department is handling the case and says the owner, Rhonda Kay Gustafson, will face animal cruelty charges.

The animals have been receiving care at the Austin Animal Center and were turned over to Austin Pets Alive! and the Austin Humane Society Friday.

From there, their health will be assessed and those eligible will be put up for adoption.

“The dogs are pretty scared,” said Dr. Rachel Hays. “I think they’ve lived most of their whole lives just in a backyard without much contact with humans. And again it can be hard to tell. Are they scared because they just came in here and their lives are changed so abruptly, or are they truly very poorly socialized animals?”

Officials say the adult cats would be ideal barn cats for rodent control.

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