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Woman arrested for animal cruelty files suit

Seeking damages for emotional trauma

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Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012 4:30 am

A woman twice arrested for animal cruelty charges has now sued the city of Killeen seeking damages for emotional trauma and defamation.

Ashley Nicole Miller, 28, now lives in Illinois because the publicity surrounding her arrests caused her to fear for her personal safety, according to documents filed in district court.

Miller was arrested on charges of cruelty to animals in May 2011. Her suit states those charges never came to trial.

She is seeking unspecified damages for the “unlawful” seizure of her dogs and defamation of character. Animal control took all of her animals into custody following her second arrest.

The suit states animal control would only allow the animals to be released to Miller if she paid $2,400. Some of her pets were then put up for adoption, and her dogs were scattered across Central Texas to at least five animal rescue groups.

The petition in the suit states that the publication of her charges caused Miller to lose her job, suffer humiliation and be a target of threats, some of which she claims were made by animal control employees.

Miller briefly ran a loosely organized group she called Killeen Animal Search and Rescue. She set up social media sites for her group and started taking animals into her home.

The organization arose from another arrest in 2010 on a criminal trespass charge that was later dropped. Miller had been searching for her dog Apollo, which had been stolen from her home.

She located the dog at a home and attempted to make contact with the residents. It resulted in a broken window.

Her animal rescue group consisted of about 15 volunteers who helped find residents’ missing pets. She claimed to have saved at least 30 animals at one point.

But in March 2011, police entered Miller’s home and found a malnourished kitten. Two months later, they arrested her and seized 12 cats and 10 dogs from her home.

Miller was then accused of attempting to neuter three dogs by placing rubber bands around their testicles.

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16 comments:

  • AmberTrav posted at 1:48 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    AmberTrav Posts: 1

    Wow, she's a very busy girl with all those websites - Actually, she has nothing to do with the anti-harassment page - it came out of the LA area, not San Diego. And from what I hear, the AAK page, not affiliated with animal abusers...but you keep saying it is. I know people involved with both. They are wondering why you keep giving out false information. The anti-harassment page happened after a transport was harassed by a few boneheads who gossiped false information. I don't have the background why AAK was started, but do know that those behind it are not animals abusers. Seems like you hear false info and repeat it. If you are an animal lover, please, the animals need you to spend the energy that you trying to pin everything on this miller girl - to help save them. If miller is guilty let the law deal with it - I saw her training video, disgusting, wanted to take that pup away from her. Still, saying she owns these websites is false, hearsay and just not true. [smile]

     
  • stephie951 posted at 7:37 pm on Sat, Mar 16, 2013.

    stephie951 Posts: 1

    Bo Jolly is a dog. He was rescued by Lori Jolly, a friend of Ashley. Ashley is now in San Diego, but she is not living with Lori Jolly. Last I heard she was living in her car trying to find a place to stay. While living in the mid-west, she would have dogs pulled from various California shelters and then transport them to Lori Jollys home. It got to the point, someone called Humane Society on Lori as she had too many dogs at her place. No idea if she is guilty of what was claimed in Texas, but I can tell you she is upsetting a lot of very nice people off in San Diego. Most feel she is taking advantage of Lori's good nature. Some feel Lori is just as bad as Ashley. Hard to say. Some very reputable people in San Diego Rescue circles have stirred clear of both rescues. It is as if they sensed there was something not right about them from the start.

     
  • Boxermama posted at 2:20 am on Wed, Mar 6, 2013.

    Boxermama Posts: 1

    She lives here in San Diego, CA now because she can get a hold of animals very easily via Craigslist mostly. She runs a so called rescue called "Pitties and Kitties,Inc." but is not in fact incorporated. Collecting funds up until she was cut off when people started figuring out her scam. She is now running around with Lori Jolly from another so called rescue, Jericho's Promise. Both rescues considering themselves "sister rescues" and supporting one another. She keeps threatening to sue people for "libel" as she shoots off her mouth and claims to be incorporated while spending donation money. She hides behind several pages on FB, even pages intended to fake people out. She went as far as to post allegations of herself on her AAK (Animal Abuser Karma) page in order to try and twist the truth around getting followers to believe it isn't her behind the page and trying to steer the focus on the other rejects that rescue groups are after. Her attempt to throw people for a loop isn't working. She is known for CAPS LOCK tantrums that give her away. She also runs a "Rescue Harassment Stops Here'' where she constantly repeats the same information throwing the word "libel" around. This is new in her vocab and she is proud. She again hides her identity behind this page. Every comment, even in the form of a reasonable question asked in a respectable way is erased immediately. She really needs to leave CA asap. I can't wait to see her crying in court when the judge finds her guilty. She really is a hot mess!!

     
  • Melissa MJ Jewell posted at 1:17 pm on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    Melissa MJ Jewell Posts: 4

    Hi! HOW can I get a hold of you? Our watch group is gathering facts on this [censored]. Please find em on FB & PM me? Melissa MJ Jewell! She HAS to be STOPPED!! They are taking sooooooooooo many dogs out of SoCal shelters:'(

     
  • Melissa MJ Jewell posted at 1:15 pm on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    Melissa MJ Jewell Posts: 4

    You would not believe the uh hem...."things" sge is pulling in Cali! [censored]

     
  • Melissa MJ Jewell posted at 1:12 pm on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    Melissa MJ Jewell Posts: 4

    We here in Cali know & have watching her & her asociates getting pitbull puppies pulled by begging for pledges on FB, keeping all the $, then flipping the dogs to whomever. She is working in the San Diego area with a guy named Bo Jolly. Our watch group gathered hard evidence against them. Not only are they raising $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to get these animals pulled from the SoCal shelters, now she's made up "Pitties & Kitties Rescue" & she & Bo call themselves "The Pak". This is laughable that she wants to sue the City of Killeen!

    We have the neocropy report of a dead puppy that she had in her TX rental home, where she rounded up roomies off of CL to pay the rent, since she was working a very p/t job at Toys R US. She doesn't have the typical Sociopath look by coinsciendence! BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD!!!

     
  • FixWhatsWrongWithTheWorld posted at 11:40 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    FixWhatsWrongWithTheWorld Posts: 2

    blah blah blah ba blah blah blah

    Listen Google's Texan Legal Scholar while I get what you're spewing and agree with some plus usually hate authorities who overstep by abusing their powers. The right approach would have been to pay the fees/fines to secure the animals and then file a lawsuit. My concern is rumor of a second offense. Conspiracy towards one little female soldier is where I get derailed. If this is a frequent event in Texas of unlawful seizure then why haven't more people pursued legal action. Where is the case law? or is this just your liable opinion about Texas in general?

     
  • FixWhatsWrongWithTheWorld posted at 11:13 am on Wed, Nov 21, 2012.

    FixWhatsWrongWithTheWorld Posts: 2

    I case you missed this post and assuming it may be a true account from an eyewitness I would NOT "fight for your right to care for them YOUR way" if this is the level of care received.-----------
    mbosa posted at 5:04 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.
    " The living conditions for both the dogs and cats was disgusting, the animals were constantly sick and she made no effort to provide them care, they were fed once every two weeks, usually in a sadistic fashion of pouring the food just out of reach with the animals caged in a crate or locked in a bwdroom and the food thrown on the floor just out of reach, with no measures taken to seperate the dominant dogs so the smaller more timid dogs could eat and same for the cats, I saw the rubber bands on the dogs testicles as well as shot down her suggestion that I neuter my own 3 month old pup with that method and much more."

     
  • rottiesrule posted at 10:07 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    rottiesrule Posts: 2

    The property owner/lease holder does not have to take custody of any animal that they are not owners of nor are they legally responsible for the care/vet bills of those animals, and as the lease holder/property owner they do have the right to give the custody of the animals to AC, if lease holder/ property owner can not give proper care to the animals then they also could be charged for not giving the care needed. A car and an animal are two different types of property one is living breathing feeling animal the other is a hunk of cold metal that does not have a heart pumping blood thru their system. The animals did not get into the condition they were in over night. If your dog/cat was hit by a car and AC picked it up and got it medical care you would be responsible for the bill so no different here except for the fact that she was arrested because she failed to give reasonable care to sick animals and caused pain and suffering to them. If your tenant was arrested for cruelty to animals would you as the property owner be responsible for the care of their animals NO, and you as owner of property as can the leasee can sign the animals over to AC and it is legal. If Animal Control had not provided vet care for these animals then she would have filedd a law suit because they didn't . Since animal control is a local govermental agency why should the citizens of the city have to pay the vet bills without the right to recoup the cost? If the city can't recoup the vet cost everyone would be taking their animals to the shelter when they got sick and the go back and get them after they had seen a vet should everyone in the city have to pay someones vet bills no so the way they recoup the cost is to have the owner pay the bill back or turn the animal over so it can be placed where someone else will take care of the animals needs in the future. WHAT this story did not say was that the owner refused/could not pay the fees she signed the animals over to animal control to be rehomed, so animal control did have the right to find new homes since they had owners signature giving AC ownership of the animals. If your dog gets out and gets hit by a car and animal control picks it up and provides vet care you would be responsible for the bill. Thank goodness animal control did what was right to relieve the suffering the animals were allowed to live with when in the owners lack of care. Who do you think should have to care for the animals when their owner was in jail for not giving them proper care? Having worked in the animal field I don't know of any animal control that does not have board fees and vet fees if a vet was needed and owner is charged before they can get their animal back. NO matter what the city would have done she would have filed a law suit because she wants what she wants without having to pay the citizens of the city back for the care of her animals that she forcedthe city to take care of, she should be happy that the animals are in good homes that can provide the care the animals need when they need it. If you are arrested and your car is towed and you get out of jail and want your car back you will pay an impound fee and a daily fee for the time your car was impounded not much different then a board /vet fee she would have had to pay to get her animals back. Artical did not say either that at one time I bbelieve a different property she was told she could not run a rescue out of there. It was not the first time animal control had anything to do with her they had had issues with her and complaints for sometime, she was given time to clean up her act and to give the animals the proper care and she still failed to do so even when she knew consequences to her actions would be. This has nothing to do with her being a veteran as she claims, most veterans do not act this way she seems to think she should be treated better then everyone else because she is a veteran well as a veteran I can say that isn't Going to happen nor do veterans expect that. She needs to soldier. Up and admit to her wrongs and stop blaming. Everyone else for her actions.

     
  • rottiesrule posted at 9:08 am on Sun, Nov 18, 2012.

    rottiesrule Posts: 2

    What was left out of this report was that the owner of the dogs signed papers giving ownership of the dogs to the shelter after she could not pay the fees.
    Some here say that the property owner/lease holder could not legally sign over the animals over to AC there they are wrong if the property owner /lease hold can not afford to provide the care nor are willing to provide the care of an animal then they can turn the animals over and if they didnt and the animals needed vet care and they failed to provid that care they also could be charged. The dogs were not adopted out or placedd with other rescues until the owner gave up ownership, the animals need medical care the shelter provided it while o wner was in jail so the owner is responsible for the bill. Its a little different then a car being removed for a property no impound lot is going to fix the car until the owner does not show or they pay to get the car let alone a car will not die a painful death if its not fixed the dogs/cats would have die a slow painful death if not provided vet care. If the shelter had let the animals suffer and had not provided vet et care and the animals had died she would of file a law suit because they didn't get vet care an let them die. Sounds like no matter what the city would have done or did would satisfied her or some of you. And that some of you think the property owner/lease holder was automaticly responsible for the care /vet bills of animals that belonged to someone else, they are not. That would be like your neighbor is arrested and they have animals that are sick are you legally responsible for their animals no, maybe morally if you have morals and care about the well being of an animal and you have the money to do so but even then the owner could be held responsible for the bills. So as an animal lover thank goodness the Animal Control officers did what was needed and best for the animals. The conditions of the animals that needed vet care did not get that bad over night it took time so the owner should have had the animals to the vets instead of letting them get worse, shame on the owner for allowing the animals to get into the condition they were in and not doing anything, forcing animal control into doing something to protect the wefare of the animals.

     
  • PJBoosinger posted at 8:33 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    PJBoosinger Posts: 1

    T said: "surrendered by the LEGAL property resident"
    Nice attempt at spin (and now that I have gales of laughter under control at T's absurd statement) BUT only an owner can surrender property and the tenant neither owned the real property OR the animals. When the government takes something without proper legal authority, the proper term is SEIZURE and FORFEITURE and there's a process that must be completed which was rather clearly NOT followed in this case. In addition, since the beginning of Texas history, Texas has abhorred forfeiture of private property to the state except under very strict procedures and very limited circumstances.

    Sadly, animal control "authorities" and local governments have decided to take it upon themselves to attempt to circumvent long and well established property rights when it comes to animals and attempt to bootstrap their claims with outrageous "fees" for returning what they had no right to take in the first place. Personally, I am thrilled at Ms. Miller's tenacity in moving forward to hold Killeen's feet to the legal fires and, hopefully, regain her animals AND remind local government that they may not simply circumvent Texas and US law at their whim and without consequence.

    Killeen made a very deliberate choice to take possession and control of Ms. Miller's animals and to proceed as though they owned them without taking ANY legal steps to obtain ownership. One can only sell or transfer the ownership one has. A quit claim deed to land transfers nothing if one owns nothing; gifting or selling what one does not own amounts to trafficking in stolen property. The vast majority of animals in the Texas animal control system are, in fact, stolen property as Texas law on forfeiture is simply ignored as these animals are seized (off the street as strays or from private owners) and subsequently passed about the "rescue railroad".

     
  • mbosa posted at 5:04 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    mbosa Posts: 1

    I lived with ashley for a few months. My boyfriend and I rented a room from her while transitioning out of the army. Trust me when I say, the charges against her dont even cover 1/3 of what she did to and how she treated her animals. The living conditions for both the dogs and cats was disgusting, the animals were constantly sick and she made no effort to provide them care, they were fed once every two weeks, usually in a sadistic fashion of pouring the food just out of reach with the animals caged in a crate or locked in a bwdroom and the food thrown on the floor just out of reach, with no measures taken to seperate the dominant dogs so the smaller more timid dogs could eat and same for the cats, I saw the rubber bands on the dogs testicles as well as shot down her suggestion that I neuter my own 3 month old pup with that method and much more.
    The city shouldnt have a problem beating this case, but as you can see Ashley Miller is free and not locked up so if she was able to avoid prosecution, she may be able to win this case. She gathered a lot of supporters by exploiting the fact that she is a veteran and by playing on ppl's mutual dislike for KAC. And according to KAC, officers arent allowed to enter a home without being invited and are only allowed to inspect where the owner allows them to, which makes it practically impossible to catch a person in any act. I dont know if those are the official guidelines, but that is what I was told by the lead investigator of Ashleys case, who I was in contact with personally trying to get her animals out of her care and into a safe and healthy environment.

     
  • GrampsF posted at 4:47 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    GrampsF Posts: 1

    Actually, what T says is partially true, and then goes on with illogical conclusions. Apparently, T is an "insider" to the whole affair, knowing so many details and alleged details of the incident(s). However, one thing's missing in T's reasoning: the fact that Ashley (the sole legal owner of the animals) did not authorize their being turned over to AC, yet now everyone seems to think she's somehow responsible for all the expenses they went to. That's like the city impound lot taking your car off your private property, getting a "release" from someone else in your house, and then getting mechanical repairs done to it and expecting you to pay for them. Ownership doesn't always equate responsibility for anything done behind the owner's back. If cops could arrest people right and left, throw them in jail for a week or two, then drop the charges and avoid all repercussions while expecting us to pay for their misdeeds, we'd all be moving out of state in fear of our freedoms! The federal and state constitutions both prohibit wrongful arrests. This kind of stuff is going on way too much, all around the country lately, and the victims need to stand up and put a stop to it. I may not agree with the way you care for your animals, but I'll be there to fight for your right to care for them YOUR way -as long as it's not deliberate torture or cruelty. Today's definitions of what constitutes cruelty are, simply put, ridiculous nitpicking.

     
  • redriveratdawn posted at 2:39 pm on Thu, Nov 1, 2012.

    redriveratdawn Posts: 1

    Dear T: The person who relinguished the animals was not their legal owner, however, the fact that animal control took the dogs in circumstances OTHER than "owner surrender" means that they were SEIZED. As far as any rubberbands, I can put rubberbands around YOUR dogs gonads without you knowing it and blame it on YOU, too.

     
  • Viktor posted at 3:00 pm on Fri, Oct 26, 2012.

    Viktor Posts: 316

    If what T. says is true then city has nothing to worry about. Suit will be dismissed or they won't find in her favor. One things for sure. Killeen animal control and police spent some real time and effort on this situation. Why don't they take that level of effort and apply it to running the shelter better and patrolling the streets for real criminal activity? It's 2012 and the city still runs a kill shelter? Bigger cities are actively looking to reduce the numbers of animals they put down and have no kill policies. Police around here could be spending their time a lot better too. Focus on crimes that affect people first and animals second.

     
  • T posted at 2:00 am on Fri, Oct 26, 2012.

    T Posts: 1

    Her criminal trial has been to court, several times, but has been postponed every time! The last court date was just Oct. 22 and it was rescheduled, yet again for Dec 3, 2012. Animal Control never seized the animals at the second arrest, they were surrendered by the LEGAL property resident AFTER miller was arrested because they needed vet care that the resident could not afford! That $2400 was for impoundment fees AND vet fees! ONE of the dogs who had rubberbands placed around his testicles had a vet bill of close to $1400!!!!! In order to reclaim the animals, she was legally responsible for those charges, since they were her dogs. She couldn't afford to get them out and got mad when they wouldn't do a payment plan for her, which they do NOT do for ANYONE! She did, however, get her cats back. Animal Control tried to work with her. They held the dogs for 13 days instead of the 10 days they were required to hold them after being surrendered. She returned to the same house she was arrested from the day she got out of jail and knew then that the dogs were at Animal Control, yet she waited THREE days to contact them and inquire about her "beloved" dogs! She just didn't think the policies, guidlines, and rules should apply to her. She claims the government, the city, and Animal Control were just all out to get her because she "rescued" animals, therefore, taking money from them!!!!