Men who ran no-kill shelter in Florence arrested

Daniel, left, and John Hoch. (Williamson County Sheriff's Office)
Daniel, left, and John Hoch. (Williamson County Sheriff's Office)

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The father and son who were running the R.U.G. Animal Shelter in Florence were arrested Monday after a judge determined they would no longer have ownership of the animals that were seized from the shelter last week. 

A spokesperson for Williamson County says the judge ruled in their favor at a hearing Monday morning. Daniel Hoch, who owns the shelter, and his father, John Hoch, are both charged with four counts of cruelty to a non-livestock animal.

Last Wednesday, the county seized 89 cats and one dog from the no-kill shelter located at 383 Farm to Market 970. An animal cruelty complaint from the Texas Department of State Health Services triggered the investigation and seizure of the animals.

Daniel gave KXAN a tour of the facility the day the seizure happened. He explained that an inspector made an unannounced visit last week and gave him a letter stating there were numerous infractions at the facility.

The seized animals were all taken in by the Williamson County Regional Animal Center (WCRAC). The shelter’s veterinarians found the cats had fleas, upper respiratory issues, skin conditions and ringworm; some were also pregnant. Over the weekend, the shelter held an adoption fair to make room for the animals that were seized. A spokesperson with WCRAC says, while they have custody of the animals, they have to wait for a 10-day appeal process before any of the cats can be put up for adoption. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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