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Exotic animals in substandard living conditions at Pahrump home removed, owner cited

A Pahrump resident was cited Thursday after allegedly housing several exotic animals in substandard living conditions.

Jacki Freeman, 57, was charged with a preliminary misdemeanor count of animal cruelty by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, but wasn’t arrested.

The sheriff’s office received multiple reports that exotic animals living at a property on Black Rock Street were not being cared for properly.

The residence does posses a special conditions animal permit, which allows them to keep special conditions animals per Nye County Code Title 6.

On the property there were eight Canadian Siberian Lynx Hybrid Cats, two African Lionesses, a African Lion, a Bengal Tiger, a Black Panther, a Fennec Fox and a Cervel Caracal Hybrid Cat.

Freeman and Abby Hedengran are responsible for the care and custody of the animals. The two suspects are involved in litigation with each other. Only Freeman was issued a citation for animal cruelty as she was the current individual having custody of the animals.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officers, deputies, and officers with the Nevada Division of Wildlife responded to the scene. Upon arriving sheriff’s Deputies made entry into the residence with the consent of the owner via telephone.

After entering the home, law enforcement officials discovered several cats that were in below standard living conditions.

The animals were locked in bedrooms and had been urinating and defecating on the walls and carpet, according to police.

The sheriff’s office described the air quality inside of the bedrooms as “horrific.” The homeowner claimed that the cats are a Canadian Siberian Lynx Hybrid which is not a species that requires a permit in Nye County.

An investigation into their specific species is being conducted by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

The Fennec Fox held in the home is a violation of Nevada Administrative Code, police said.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife is handling the investigation relating to the Fennec Fox and will determine the appropriate placement for the animal.

As result of the possession of the illegal fox and the unsatisfactory living conditions of the cats inside the house, all of the special conditions animals on the property were seized while the special conditions animal permit is reviewed.

Sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers are still investigating the case and working on placement at a USDA approved sanctuary for the seized animals.

As the investigation continues the sheriff’s office will present the findings to the Nye County Board of County Commissioners relating to the special conditions animal permit. The board will then set a show cause hearing on whether to permanently revoke the special conditions animal permit.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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