DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office served a search and seizure warrant in Jan. 9 at a property in Hunt County before removing 87 animals from the property.
The animals included 73 dogs, 11 cats and three deceased puppies, which were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center. The live animals are being evaluated and cared for by medical and behavioral staff until a civil custody hearing takes place on Friday, January 14.
A dozen dogs were found living outdoors on the property without adequate access to food, water or shelter. A few dogs were confined to pens, and others roamed the property freely. Inside a home on the property, approximately 60 dogs and 11 cats were found living in feces, urine and other debris. A mother dog and her puppies were found inside of a cardboard box, and additional neonatal puppies were found in another box. An injured cat was found underneath a couch, and a single neonatal kitten was found inside of a box on a stove. Three deceased puppies were found in an abandoned trailer on the property.
The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level to be 134 parts per million (ppm) inside of the home. For a point of reference, short-term exposure to any ammonia level over 20 ppm or long-term exposure to any level over 12 ppm can cause health problems in humans.
The animals appeared to be suffering from various health conditions, including eye issues, ear issues, hair loss and overgrown nails, and several appeared to be underweight.
The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of animal cruelty referred by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and visited the property on January 7. Upon arriving at the property, investigators observed a dog being attacked by another dog in its enclosure. Due to the exigent circumstances of the extent of the dog’s injuries, it was seized without a warrant. The dog was rushed to an emergency veterinarian where it succumbed to its injuries. At that point, the SPCA of Texas’ investigators worked with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office to obtain a warrant to remove the remaining animals. The warrant was obtained on Friday, January 7, and served on Sunday, January 9.
Criminal charges expect to be filed in this case.