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Woman convicted in case of pets who starved to death after being left behind

May 9, 2019 

A woman was convicted of animal cruelty for leaving two dogs, a cat and a turtle to starve to death in her apartment, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday.

Jamica Roshawn Chambliss, 42, was convicted by a jury and sentenced by a judge to 18 months of probation as well as a community service and a fine.

“This is a painful reminder for pet owners that they can’t just leave their animals behind and hope someone else will care for them,” said prosecutor Jessica Milligan, chief of the Animal Cruelty Unit at the District Attorney’s Office.

“These animals suffered horrible deaths, and while we can’t bring them back, we are grateful the jury held this defendant accountable,” MIlligan said

The case began in May 2016, when a Houston Police officer working an extra job as security at an apartment complex conducted a welfare check due to a heavy foul odor emanating from a unit.

Once inside the apartment at 10555 Fondren Road, the officer found the deceased animals, as well as fish living in a tank with a few inches of water. The dogs were locked in individual cages.

The woman who leased the apartment later told authorities that she had left town and wasn’t returning.

In addition to 18 months of probation, which includes 15 days in jail, the judge ordered that Chambiss perform 60 hours of community service, complete a pet ownership class, and pay a $500 fine.

The case was investigated by the Houston Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Squad with animal enforcement officers from Houston’s BARC.

The District Attorney’s Office, Houston Police, and BARC are all members of the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force that was launched in 2018.