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DALLAS, TX; VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX); June 10, 2022 – Today, the SPCA of Texas and the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office served a search and seizure warrant at a property in Van Zandt County, Texas, before removing 14 animals from the property. The animals included five dogs, five koi fish, two cats, one macaw and one deceased cockatoo.
The SPCA of Texas has closed all adoption locations for at least the next two weeks out of an abundance of caution due to exposure of canine distemper virus. Recently, many shelters in North Texas have been facing similar outbreaks.
The animals in this case were in urgent need of rescue, and the dogs are being cared for in a emergency, climate-controlled shelter patrolled by security to ensure they can receive life-saving care without the risk of distemper exposure. The cats, fish and bird are being cared for at the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, as these animals are not at risk of contracting distemper.
The live animals are being evaluated and cared for by medical and behavioral staff until a civil custody hearing takes place on Tuesday, June 21 at 9 a.m. at the Van Zandt County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Courthouse located at 250 E. Grove St., Suite 102, Canton, TX 75103, the Honorable Judge Sandra Plaster presiding.
To view photos of the animals, please click here.
One cat was found on an enclosed back porch of the house in a crate without a litter box. Its water was black and full of mosquito larvae and its crate was filled with feces. The macaw was also on the porch in a filthy cage. One cat was found outside in a large, feces-filled wire dog run without a litter box. Three dogs were found outside in dog runs. The dog food inside the house was infested with roaches. The deceased cockatoo was found in the freezer in an outdoor building on the property.
The dogs and cats appeared to be suffering from various health conditions, including teeth issues, dirty ears, matted coats and overgrown nails and flea infestation. The macaw had feather loss and an overgrown beak.
The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of animal cruelty from an anonymous individual and then visited the property on Wednesday, June 8. Upon arriving at the property, investigators observed the animals conditions and tried to work with the owner. The owner did not agree to bring the animals’ conditions into compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code. At that point, the SPCA of Texas’ investigators worked with the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office to obtain a warrant to remove the animals. The search warrant was obtained on Thursday, June 9 and the seizure warrant was obtained on Friday, June 10. Both warrants were served on Friday, June 10. Criminal charges may be filed in this case pending further investigation.
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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