Our mission is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation. HOUSTON SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

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Animal Cops Houston

Animal Planet’s "Animal Cops: Houston" television series has made local and national heroes of the Houston SPCA’s dedicated team of Animal Cruelty Investigators.  The men and women of The Houston SPCA remain focused on one thing… saving animal lives in the nation’s fourth largest city! 

"Animal Cops: Houston" continues to be one of Animal Planet’s most highly rated humane law programming shows.  Animal Planet, available in more than 85 million homes nationwide, is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals.  The network’s unique programming brings together people of all ages by tapping into a fundamental fascination with animals and providing an entertaining mix of programming, including original movies, adventure series, sports, drama and sitcoms.

We are all very proud to be part of this series, so tune into "Animal Cops: Houston" on
Animal Planet and see what all the talk is about!

Ike Victims

Meet the Investigations Team:

Maverick Wagner

Maverick Wagner, Senior Investigator, was born and raised in Houston, Texas, making him a proud native Houstonian. Maverick has always had a heart for animals and has been an advocate for animal welfare. After graduating high school, Maverick moved to Huntsville, Texas, where he attended Sam Houston State University. Through college Maverick worked full-time as a correctional officer at a maximum security penitentiary. After 4 years of hard work, he received B.S. degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Maverick moved back to Houston and stumbled upon the opportunity to apply to be an Animal Cruelty Investigator.  Maverick says, "the best part about being an investigator is, at the end of every day, knowing I have made a difference in the life of at least one animal. It is always rewarding to see the lives of animals improve by educating owners on proper animal husbandry or helping animals out of a very bad situation and seeing them adopted into great forever homes". Maverick is proud to say he has rescued pets at home and will continue to devote much time and effort into animal welfare.


Shawna Sundberg


I was born and raised in a small town in Iowa and moved to Texas shortly after I graduated High School. I lived in Dallas for about 6 years where I received an associates degree in applied sciences. I worked in the entertainment Industry for 13 years and realized that my true calling was helping animals so I went back to school and studied courses in the Veterinary Technician field. I started working for the Houston SPCA in 2006 as a Rescue Technician and joined the Animal Cruelty Investigations Team about a year later. I have completed the National Cruelty Investigations School levels I,II &III through the University of Missouri Law Enforcement Training Institute and Code 3 Associate, Inc. and have been certified in Animal Cruelty Investigation. I have completed several courses through FEMA in emergency management and animal disease response. I have also completed training in Big Useful Livestock Lessons though the Colorado State University and Code 3 Associates, Large Animal Rescue and have attended multiple tactical animal rescue trainings. I find it very rewarding to be able to give the animals I work with every day a voice and find that educating the public in what Texas law requires of a pet owner and the proper care of their pet is an important step in the fight against animal cruelty.


Debbie MichielsonDebbie1

I was born in Florida to a Navy family but grew up in Virginia. I have held various jobs but found my true calling when I began work in the animal control field. I worked in this industry for 10 years in Virginia and Texas. I have also volunteered at a zoo as an educational guide and keeper aide. I helped implement a program used nationwide by circuses on how to conduct inspections on circus animals to make sure they are being cared for and treated properly. I love working with and helping save animals. I like to see them recover and make it to a new home. I think education of the public is key to creating a better society for our animals. I started an educational program in Norfolk for ages 2 years through adults. The program focused on proper animal care and the laws governing the animals. My job with the Houston SPCA allows me to directly educate the public about how Texas law says we must care for our animals. I would like to continue to be instrumental in public education and hope to be involved in animal welfare for the rest of my life.


Octavio GonzalezOctavio

I was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas and attended the University of Texas at Brownsville. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. I knew that once I graduated, I wanted to find a career that involved working with animals. In 2010 I made the move to Houston, Texas and shortly after, I began working with the Houston SPCA. Since then, I have held a variety of positions, including Call Center Team Member, Rescue Technician, and eventually as an Animal Cruelty Investigator in 2013. My work experience with the Houston SPCA has been great, and I look forward to educating and helping people take better care of their animals. The most satisfying cases are when an abused animal is rescued, treated, and adopted out to a caring home. I am the proud owner of two dogs.


Mattie Robinson Mattie

I was born and raised in the small town of Burnet, Texas.  Growing up I always had a love for animals and was surrounded by everything from dogs and cats to horses and cows.  When I was young, I was a member of the Burnet County Sheriff’s Junior Posse. This close interaction, helped to solidify my passion for animals and their humane treatment.  After graduating from Burnet High School, I went on to earn a B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M University. While in College Station, I worked at the Texas A&M Veterinary Teaching Hospital as a Pharmacy Technician and completed Level I of the National Cruelty Investigations School from the University of Missouri Law Enforcement Training Institute.  I then realized that I wanted to move on to an environment where I could positively impact the lives of animals. So I accepted a job offer with the Houston SPCA as an Animal Rescue Technician. After a year of hard work, I was able to achieve my goal of helping animals and educating the public in the proper treatment of animals by becoming an Animal Cruelty Investigator. I have since completed several FEMA courses in emergency management and plan to continue my education.  I currently reside in Houston with my two dogs, Butch and Ali and my 16-year-old cat, Sylvester.






Watch Animal Planet for "Animal Cops: Houston." Click the link below
to see when your favorite show will be on. Episode schedule Animal Planet.


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