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(HUNT COUNTY, TX; DALLAS, TX; McKINNEY, TX); February 20, 2020 – Yesterday, February 19, 2020, the SPCA of Texas, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and the Hunt County Constable’s Office seized 128 animals and today, February 20, 2020, an additional 18 animals, from a property in Hunt County, Texas. The total 146 animals seized include 119 dogs, 19 puppies, six donkeys, one horse and one cat. The dogs, puppies and cat were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas, and the donkeys and horse were transported to the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney. The animals will be evaluated by medical staff and cared for until a civil custody hearing takes place on February 27, 2020 at the Hunt County Precinct 1, Place 2 Justice of the Peace Courthouse located at 2801 Stuart St., Greenville, TX, 75401, the Honorable Judge Sheila Linden presiding.
Forty of the dogs, 19 puppies and the cat were found living inside of a residence on the property, which was filled with feces, urine and debris up to two feet high in some areas. Most of the animals inside were confined to plastic and wire crates, stacked one on top of another, throughout the home. Several of these crates did not have bases, forcing the animals to stand and sit on the hard wire. More than one mother and litter of puppies were found enclosed in feces-covered crates, with no access to food or water. A few dogs roamed the home freely. At the time of the seizure, it did not appear that any of the animals inside the home had access to food or water. The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level to be 99 parts per million (ppm) inside of the residence. 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.
To view and download photos of the animals taken at the property, please click on the following link or copy and paste it into a browser: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kmtbsqq4padajs8/AAAkYWMYQTZyWp1MvXRWWJ3qa?dl=0.
Seventy-nine dogs were found outside, confined to various makeshift pens and enclosures around the property. Most of the enclosures were filled with mud, feces and large, dirty puddles of water. Many of the dogs had little access to appropriate and/or adequate food, water or shelter from the elements. Three dogs were found confined to large, feces-filled plastic crates under a tree, and one dog was found tethered to a wire fence. The horse and donkeys were roaming freely on the property.
The animals appear to be suffering from several health issues, including scrapes and wounds, long nails, diarrhea and dirty and matted fur. Many of the animals also appear to be significantly underweight, with their hips, ribs and spines clearly visible. One dog had to receive emergency IV fluids upon arrival at the Rescue Center.
The SPCA of Texas received this case through an animal cruelty complaint. An SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigator visited the property multiple times, however, the property owner would not allow the investigator beyond a privacy gate located where the property met the road. The majority of the animals were not visible from the street, and the investigator continued to work the case, as only credible evidence or probable cause as required by the legal process can be used to build a case that can be filed with the proper authority. After several visits, the investigator was able to make contact with a neighbor, who allowed access to their adjoining property, giving the investigator the ability to see the animals. This, along with another witness statement, gave the investigator the probable cause needed to obtain a search and seizure warrant for the entire property and residence.
The SPCA of Texas is currently in need of the community’s support to help care for these animals. You can help the organization in the following ways:
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