Animals

Woman Convicted of Animal Cruelty. Pets Starved to Death After She Left Them Behind.

Jamica Roshawn Chambliss will not be getting a Humane Society award any time soon.
Jamica Roshawn Chambliss will not be getting a Humane Society award any time soon. Photo by Harris County District Attorney's Office

When Jamica Roshawn Chambliss moved out of her Fondren Road apartment in 2016, she apparently wanted to travel light. Or she was very forgetful. Or maybe she meant to return but couldn't because she was being held captive somewhere?

In any case, the 42-year-old woman left behind two dogs, a cat and a turtle — all of whom starved to death, one assumes very slowly.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday that Chambliss was convicted by a jury of animal cruelty in the case handled by prosecutor Jessica Milligan, chief of the Animal Cruelty Unit at the DA's Office. For that she was sentenced by a judge to 18 months of probation as well as 60 hours of community service and pay a $500 fine. Chambliss, whose probation includes 15 days in jail, also has to complete a pet ownership class (Really? This woman should be trusted with another pet?)

The animals were discovered when a Houston police officer working security checked on the apartment because of a bad smell coming from that unit.

"The dogs were locked in individual cages."

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According to the DA's office: "Once inside the apartment at 10555 Fondren Road, the officer found the deceased animals, as well as fish living in a tank with a few inches of water. The dogs were locked in individual cages."

Chambliss later told authorities that she had left town and wasn’t returning. Animal enforcement officers from Houston's BARC aided in the investigation.

“This is a painful reminder for pet owners that they can’t just leave their animals behind and hope someone else will care for them,” said Milligan,“These animals suffered horrible deaths, and while we can’t bring them back, we are grateful the jury held this defendant accountable.” 
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
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