HUNT COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – 87 animals were signed over to the SPCA of Texas earlier this week. The owner of the animals reached an agreement with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, Hunt County Attorney’s Office and the SPCA of Texas.
The animals will now be individually evaluated for potential adoption of placement on a case by case basis.
On Sunday, Jan. 9, the SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office served a search and seizure warrant at a property in Hunt County before removing the 87 animals from the property. There were 73 dogs, 11 cats and three deceased puppies. The deceased animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center and the living animals were evaluated and cared for by medical and behavioral staff until Friday’s civil custody hearing.
There were a dozen dogs living outdoors on the property without proper access to food, water and shelter according to the SPCA of Texas. A few dogs were confined to pens and others roamed the property freely. inside of the home on the property, about 60 dogs and 11 cats were found living in feces, urine and debris.
A mother dog and her puppies were found in a cardboard box and more newborn puppies were found in another box. Officials found an injured cat underneath a couch and a newborn kitten was found in a box on the stove. Three deceased puppies were found in an abandoned trailer on the property.
The SPCA of Texas measured ammonia levels in the house to be 134 parts per million (ppm). For a point of reference, the SPCA said that 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 revived this complaint of animal cruelty referred by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and visited the property on Jan. 7. Upon arrival, investigators saw a dog being attacked by another dog in its enclosure. Due to the extent of the dog’s injuries, it was taken without a warrant. The dog succumbed to its injuries at an emergency veterinarian.
The SPCA of Texas’ investigators worked with HCSO to obtain a warrant to seize the remaining animals. The warrant was obtained on Friday, Jan. 7, and served on Sunday, Jan. 9. Criminal charges are expected to be filed in this case.