Comal County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) is actively investigating claims of animal cruelty and neglect at Canyon Lake Animal Shelter Society (CLASS), spokesperson Jennifer Smith confirmed today.
Anyone with any evidence of animal mistreatment including records, texts, photographs and videos is asked to contact CCSO at 830-620-3400.
Former CLASS Kennel Manager Jennifer Thompson spoke out against her former employers, CLASS board members Kelly and Darrell Mayfield, today at Comal County Commissioners Court.
She said she spent 4 ½ hours at CCSO Wednesday talking to Sheriff Mark Reynolds, another officer and a detective.
“I feel really good about it,” she said of her meeting with law enforcement. “I have complete confidence that they are taking this very seriously.”
But other animal advocates who also shared their stories at Commissioners Court didn’t get the answers they were hoping to hear.
Judge Sherman Krause said CLASS is not licensed by the county and there is nothing commissioners can do to run the Mayfields out of town as several requested.
“Again, we’re happy that you’re here and listen to what you have to say but I don’t know what your expectation is from this court,” he said.
CLASS is located on the south side of Canyon Lake in Precinct 1. Commissioner Donna Eccleston was not in court today but afterward Pct. 4 Commissioner Jen Crownover, who represents the north side of Canyon Lake, on Facebook “applauded” those who spoke for their dedication and courage.
“I just want you to know that our ability to respond is extremely limited because of the Open Meetings Act and the laws around that,” she said. “I also want to reiterate that what judge said about Commissioners Court not having authority over area organizations and nonprofits such as this. But if you have first-hand knowledge of anything nefarious, please reach out to Sheriff’s Office to file reports so they can be properly investigated. Other possible agencies may include the Internal Revenue Service, the Secretary of State or the Attorney General’s Office.
“Nobody wants to see animals suffer, and if there are crimes happening, they need to be investigated and prosecuted,” she said.
In an email late this evening CLASS President Darrell Mayfield and his wife, Vice President Kelly Mayfield, said MyCanyonLake.com will be offered an “exclusive” that tells their side of the story by 5 p.m. Friday.
They promised to talk about other “players” as well as provide new information about Thompson and close family members.
However, they declined to reveal any information about the whereabouts of ‘Shadow,’ formerly called Maybelline, who disappeared Wednesday after Kelly Mayfield picked her up from her foster-to-adopt, Ydalia Villasana, a Canyon Lake resident who has cared for the animal since October 2022 when it arrived at the shelter.
Shadow – who unknownst to Villasana had not been spayed, vaccinated or chipped since arriving at CLASS – was supposed to get retested for heartworms, have staples from a Feb. 4 spay removed and get vaccinated.
Aware of recent rumors about the shelter, Villasana begged to go with the Mayfields so she could ask questions about Shadow’s heartworm treatment.
The dog was scared and did not want to get into the Mayfield’s car, Villasana said.
“I promise you I will bring her back when they’re finished,” she said Kelly Mayfield promised her.
Hours later, Mayfield informed Villasana that one of the veterinary technicians at the clinic had fallen in love with Shadow and decided to take her home with him for a “trial.”
Sobbing, the Canyon Lake woman said she relies on Social Security to survive and could not afford the veterinary treatment the Mayfields reluctantly agreed to provide, although they did pay for Shadow’s food.
Villasana said she was clueless about Shadow’s lack of veterinary care until December 2022, when she saw splotches of bright red blood on her floor. The dog was in heat, and soon escaped from the house and ran off briefly with a white boxer.
She said Mayfield finally agreed to get Shadow spayed on Feb. 4. Afterward, the animal returned to Villasana with stitches and another wound that appeared to have been glued shut.
However, Mayfield had bad news. Shadow tested positive for heartworms and needed to be rechecked by another vet because mobile veterinarians don’t write prescriptions.
Villasana said she has texted Mayfield around 20 times since Shadow got into the car with Kelly Mayfield on Wednesday. She has called repeatedly, hoping to find out where the dog is.
There is no question Mayfield knew she planned to adopt the dog, Villasana said.
Undeterred, Villasana said she spent most of today checking with area veterinarians to see if they know where her dog is. They either told her they hadn’t seen Shadow or couldn’t comment since Villasana is not the dog’s legal owner.
“She was safe, she was sound, she was in a good home, I took care of her, I loved that little dog,” Villasana said. “She was adorable. I don’t know why she felt the need to take her away from me.”
With temperatures expected to drop into the mid-thirties overnight, Villasana said she prays Shadow isn’t sitting in one of CLASS’s outdoor kennels, wearing the black collar with the little white stars she painted on it.
“I see the chicken in the fridge I roasted for her yesterday knowing it was going to be a long day for her,” she said. “I made plain chicken broth out of the bones to moisten her kibbIe. I see her bowls waiting for her to come home and she is not here, home with me and this breaks my heart.”
Mayfield declined to comment about Shadow’s whereabouts or whether reports she is bringing all foster dogs back to the shelter are true.