Local News


CONTACT 13: House arrest for Cold Creek animal hoarders

Posted at 2:05 PM, Oct 21, 2016
Two women have been booked on criminal charges involving more than 400 hundred animals. Police and Animal Control say it's another case of rescue gone wrong.  
Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears first broke the story back in April when authorities made some astounding discoveries.
Desert Rescue Animal Sanctuary operated in Cold Creek -- about 60 miles northwest of Las Vegas.  
The moment an Animal Control officer arrived at the property, she knew there was a serious problem. 
Police records document dogs cramped in cages. Pigeons confined to crates with dirty water.  And several turtles in a pen along with a dog.  All that in the front yard before Animal Control even reached the trash-covered front porch.  
Just inside the front door, the officer was overcome by the strong smell in what they're calling an extreme case of hoarding involving felony animal cruelty.  
Donna Mead and Dawn Spoolman were booked into Clark County Detention Center earlier this week -- each facing 27 charges of animal cruelty including unlawful restraint.  
The women are now under house arrest, despite the District Attorney trying to keep them behind bars. 
Police records describe cages with snakes and reptiles stacked to the ceiling.  
More dogs in cages too small for them to move. An owl and a kit fox were locked in the same bathroom.  A turtle was living in a bathtub with dead gold fish. A coyote was running free through the house.  
Officers counted 246 rats and everywhere, everything was covered in urine and feces. 103 animals had to be euthanized. 
A lawyer for Spoolman declined to comment on behalf of both defendants. Their next court date is in December.