MISSOURI CITY, TX (KTRK) --A Missouri City woman says she was illegally kicked out of the home she just moved into with her friend, their four children and two dogs.
"We didn't know where we were gonna go, what the kids were gonna eat. We didn't know if we were gonna have a place to sleep, " said Briana Jones.
She says she'd lived in the home in the 1500 block of Mimosa Road since July 2 after signing a lease and paying $1000 to the property owner.
Only Saturday did she find out the property was the focus of a bitter court battle between its owner and his mother.
The owner's mother called police when finding Jones, the kids and the dogs in the house.
"I was like. Are you kidding me? Did he really scam me and my family? Can he do this?" she said.
Investigators say Jones was not evicted but that she chose to leave. She admits she did so in a hurry, gathering all their things and placing them into a pile under a tree across the street.
She says she was fearful of the landlord, who had been screaming vulgarities at her and the kids. They sat on that corner until a good Samaritan offered help.
"I knew one thing: I could take the dogs. I could handle that. And we had plenty of room for the family," said Kellye LeBoff, who runs Jurassic Bark, a local large dog rescue.
She didn't hesitate. Took them all in - the dogs, the kids and the women.
It was Sunday and the odds of getting help from a local agency, she knew, were slim. Given all the race-related tensions making news lately, LeBoff thought, here was an opportunity where one human being could help another, regardless of color.
"Right now we should be bending over backwards and being nicer to each other. No matter the color of your skin. No matter who you are," LeBoff said.
For that, Jones is thankful.
Jones could not produce a receipt showing she paid the $1000 rent. She said she left it in the house with many of their things.
Property owner Emmanuel Ede insists he was never paid a dime. He claims he let everyone stay at the house because they were down on their luck. He says he did it as a favor for the kids and that he only forced them out when their mothers wouldn't do simple things like buy the children food or bathe their dogs.
It's not clear yet where the women, kids and dogs will be living long-term.