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Judge orders controversial ‘animal rescue team’ to leave Palmhurst within two weeks

The Franklin All Animal Rescue Team needs to find a new home — and fast.

During a hearing on Tuesday, state District Judge Marla Cuellar ordered Jesus Meave, who founded the nonprofit organization, to stop operating from a home in Palmhurst.

Cuellar issued an identical order in June 2022, but Meave never moved. More than 100 dogs, a pig and other animals remain on the property.

When the city of Palmhurst filed a motion to hold Meave in contempt of court, his attorney requested another 90 days. Cuellar provided him with two weeks.

“They’ve had plenty of time,” Cuellar said. “Two weeks to remove all the animals from the property. And if that is not done, the court is giving the city the authority to go in and remove the animals.”


Jesus Meave, the founder of the Franklin All Animal Rescue Team, shows off kennels on Stewart Road in Palmhurst. (Photo by Dave Hendricks / The Progress Times)


Meave created the Franklin All Animal Rescue Team in 2014, when he lived in McAllen.

It started small, with kennels Meave built in his backyard and a few donations from supporters.

Meave and a friend, Maria “Marisa” Wade, incorporated the Franklin All Animal Rescue Team in 2019, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office. The IRS approved the organization’s application for nonprofit status in 2021.

After clashing with the McAllen Police Department and other city officials, Meave moved to Palmhurst.

Meave had more problems in Palmhurst, where the Franklin All Animal Rescue Team set up shop in a house on Stewart Road.

Neighbors complained about the smell of feces and the sound of barking dogs. They contacted the city of Palmhurst, which sued Meave in December 2021.

The lawsuit accused Meave of operating a dog kennel within 50 feet of a home, which is prohibited by city ordinance.

Cuellar, the state district judge, ordered Meave to shut down by Sept. 16, 2022.

Meave, though, didn’t shut down. Palmhurst filed a motion to hold Meave in contempt of court.

Attorney Hector Bustos of Edinburg, who represents Meave, asked Cuellar for another 90 days. Palmhurst City Attorney Darrell Davis objected.

Bustos countered with 30 days. Davis objected again.


A pig at the Franklin All Animal Rescue Team property on Stewart Road in Palmhurst. (Photo by Dave Hendricks / The Progress Times)


After a brief back-and-forth, Cuellar granted Meave another two weeks to move.

Cuellar also granted the city of Palmhurst permission to remove all animals from the property if Meave failed to comply with her order. Davis requested permission to euthanize the animals if necessary.

“I wish I didn’t have to say that,” Cuellar said. “I don’t want to have to say it.”

Cuellar said the city of Palmhurst or any organization that assists the city should follow their own policies.

“The court is placed in a difficult position,” Cuellar said. “Having to make that decision.”

Meave said more than 100 dogs remain on the property in Palmhurst, including about 20 that aren’t suitable for adoption.

“If they want to come in and euthanize them, that’s a black eye on the judge,” Meave said. “And on the city.”

Meave said he plans to move the Franklin All Animal Rescue Team to a rural area near Monte Alto, but the new location still needs utility service.

“I cannot move in two weeks,” Meave said. “There’s no stinkin’ way.”


  1. Sandra Richwood on February 10, 2023 at 8:55 pm

    So sad that the city won’t allow this man more time. So sad.

    • dog rescue foster on February 13, 2023 at 8:27 pm

      this Man is a pig he points fingers at other rescue’s to keep people out of his business. but he has had plenty of time to move these dogs, he still has over 200 dogs there, he finds them on the street and lets them die a slow death, then takes pictures of them and begs for foor and money please this PIG HAS HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO MOVE THESE ANIMALS

      • Mary on February 16, 2023 at 11:40 am

        Stop lying about them and making false accusations they do great they arent money hungry like most of the rescues that only take cute or severely injured pups for their benefit of luxury they take in any kind. Oh yea u saw they even took u in the pig she looks well fed.

      • Steve Longoria on February 20, 2023 at 5:06 am

        Your statements are faults and an not accurate just like your name. I have worked and helped out at Franklin’s All Animal Rescue. I never witnessed the condition that you describe. Instead of complaining and pointing fingers, get your rear end up and go and help. You call yourself a dog rescue foster what a joke.

    • Dee elliott on February 14, 2023 at 4:40 am

      Meave is doing what Hidalgo county is responsible for- without governent funding. Poor animals will pay the ultimate price.

  2. Linda Rodriguez on February 13, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Judge should give more time.

    All Texas is in huge need of stray’s

    This group helps so much

  3. AC on February 13, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    Everyone complains about the stray problem in the RGV. This man is making a difference and what does he get?!? He gets sued and the strays in his care at risk of being euthanized!!! Sad world we live in!! Instead this man needs the community’s help so he can continue to help these poor strays!!

  4. Betts on February 15, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    I came to know Jesus Meave and Marrisa thru by sister who says that down street from where she lives was a NO KILL SHELTER. I was looking for a place for my daughter’s dog whom they could not take care of much longer. I reached out to Marissa and they said get could help me. I was so happy to tell my daughter, who lives in SA. Tht Franklin Rescue would be able to help her and train her pit bull. I knew about the order for them to move but now that I heard news and how City of Palmhurst is going to euthanize all the dogs and a few other animals if they don’t comply by this week. I AM BEYOND DISBELIEF!! I am going to reach out to a higher authority becus I donate to many NO Kill Shelters and also a member of PETA. I JUST MIGHT REACH OUT TO INGRID; PRESIDENT OF PETA. This is not going to look good for the CITY OF PALMHURST. PETA is a nationwide NO Kill shelter. I’m just happy to be 1 of their many donors!!!

    • SA on February 16, 2023 at 12:43 am

      PETA kills pitbulls. You need to educate yourself on PETA. They are responsible for killing kittens and puppies that are strays in parking lots in back of vans. PETA is a horrible place to support.

      This is a horrible situation. If we were closer we could step into help but we are across country. 😢

    • SA on February 16, 2023 at 1:10 am

      Just Google PETA kills….

    • Are you crazy? on February 16, 2023 at 4:56 am

      PETA is high kill! You should see what they do with animals that are missed placed after a hurricane!

      • Anita on February 19, 2023 at 2:02 pm

        First I would like to state that Mr. Davis is a monster threatening to euthanize these poor homeless dogs. I know Marisa Wade personally and I have donated to their rescue. Everybody that is involved and Rescue knows how horrific the state of Texas treats their homeless animals. I personally have two dogs from Longview and three from San Antonio which is a SLAUGHTERHOUSE. They are doing what they can as quickly as they can but they need time. They need donations and volunteers to make this happen. Shame on you Mr. Davis for being so cold hearted. Thank you judge for giving them the additional two weeks but it is not long enough to situate the dogs in a new location.

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