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(DALLAS, TX; HUNT COUNTY, TX); October 14, 2022 – Yesterday, during a civil custody hearing at the Hunt County Precinct 1, Place 2 Justice of the Peace Courthouse in Greenville, TX, the Honorable Judge Sheila Linden awarded the SPCA of Texas custody of 34 cats seized from a Hunt County property on October 6, 2022. Judge Linden also awarded $8,539.50 in restitution to the SPCA of Texas for the cost of investigation, expert witnesses, housing and care for the animals from the time of the seizure to the hearing in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code.
View photos and videos of the animals on scene and at the Dealey Rescue Center.
The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of animal cruelty referred by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and visited the property on Monday, October 3. Upon arriving at the property, investigators were able to observe cats and debris through the windows and could smell a strong scent of ammonia from outside the house. Investigators attempted to work with the owner, but the individual was not willing to speak with investigators. At that point, the SPCA of Texas’ investigators worked with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office to obtain search and seizure warrants to remove the animals. The warrants were obtained on Wednesday, October 5.
On Thursday, October 6, the SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office served search and seizure warrants at a property in Hunt County, Texas, before removing the 19 cats from the property. The cats were found living inside the house on the property among piles of debris, feces and urine. A few cats were confined to pens, and others roamed the house freely.
The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level to be 65 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 and other possible health conditions.
Due to the volume of debris and access into walls inside the house on the property, the SPCA of Texas returned daily to set traps to capture any remaining cats. Over the following six days, the SPCA of Texas trapped 15 additional cats, bringing the total to 34 cats seized.
All of the animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center (Dealey Rescue Center). The cats were evaluated and cared for by medical and behavioral staff until the civil custody hearing.
To support the SPCA of Texas’ efforts to rescue, heal and find homes for animals from cases of cruelty and neglect, please visit www.spca.org/give.
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