EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A temporary restraining order will halt the return of 21 dogs to an Evansville woman accused in the Hillview hoarding case.
Court documents show the restraining order was filed against Martha Crosley on Monday. It was a joint effort by the Vanderburgh Humane Society, PC Pound Puppies, Henderson Humane Society, and It Takes a Village.
Officials with Gerling Law tell us the firm worked all weekend to get the paper work filed.
This comes after a Vanderburgh County judge ruled that 21 dogs can return to Crosley, who pleaded guilty on Friday to five counts of animal abuse. She was cited back in February after animal control officers seized 68 dogs from a former church on Hillview Drive.
The civil action claims that Crosley breached her rescue contracts with the various organizations when she abused the dogs and the dogs should be returned to the original rescuers. It also states there was an expectation that Crosley would treat the dogs in a humane manner, provide them food, water, shelter, and much needed veterinary care.
There are several other counts listed in the civil complaint.
One count states that Crosley has been asking for donations to her 501(c)(3) rescue, but she has not been using those donations properly.
Another count is that Crosley was fraudulent in how she depicted the dogs being kept at the residence and that she reported they were being kept in loving homes and was provided with the best vet care that was available.
A conversion complaint states that PC Pound Puppies had asked Crosley repeatedly to return a dog she was fostering, but she refused.
Finally, they are asking the court to award civil damages to the rescues because they spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to care for the dogs after they were abused or neglected by Crosley.
"We are still trying to figure out where all the dogs originally came from," said attorney Susan Odoyo. "When this broke back in February, several groups reached out to us from as far away as Nebraska, to let us know they, in fact, wanted their dogs back. As rescuers, none of us want to see dogs that we have had in our care, at any point, we do not want to see them be abused in any way."
Animal control was ordered to return the dogs to Crosley on Monday morning. Five of the 21 dogs made it out there before the restraining order was granted.
Superior Court Judge Robert Tornatta agreed those dogs should be returned back to the animal shelter.
Many of the dogs are in foster care with Another Chance for Animals. They will remain in foster care until the case is resolved.
A hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday.