Two arrested after more than 170 cats and dogs removed from Buda home

Thomas Caffey, 49, and Melissa Caffey, 47, were arrested after 176 animals were found in their home. (Photos: Hays County Sheriff's Office)

Two Buda residents are now in jail after the Hays County Sheriff's Office took out more than 170 cats and dogs from their home.

The sheriff's office arrested Thomas Caffey, 49, and Melissa Caffey, 47, this week.

Both were charged with two counts of child endangerment, while Melissa Caffey was charged with ten counts of cruelty to a non-livestock animal.

The Hays County Sheriff's Office was first called to their Buda home on November 1 in response to an inhumane animal care call.

Their investigation lasted until this week, when deputies arrested the Caffeys, and removed 161 cats and 15 dogs from their home. Four of those cats are now dead.

Neighbors say they had no idea what was going on behind closed doors.

"It's very upsetting because I've had pets all my life, and I take good care of them. To hear that many cats in one house is ridiculous," said Daryl McGinley.

McGinley's home is a few doors down and behind they Caffeys' home.

He says he never saw any of their animals outside, and cannot imagine what the conditions inside were like.

"I have one dog now, and it costs me 300-and-some bucks just to take her to the vet for annuals, for their medication and what-not. To have that many cats, how can you afford it? Just the food alone," McGinley said.

On a Facebook post announcing the arrests, the Hays County Sheriff's Office called the living conditions "brutal."

Officials say the Caffeys ran a nonprofit animal rescue -- called The Leisure Cat Animal Rescue -- out of their home.

Now, neighbors are hoping for the best for the animals and the Caffeys' children.

"I hope the animals recover and get homes, and the children, that's hard to say. There's gotta be something to do with the kids," McGinley said.

All of the animals are now with the Hays County Animal Shelter, being tested and treated.

This is still an ongoing investigation, and more charges could be filed.

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