VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Sandra Plaster, a Van Zandt County Judge, ordered on Tuesday for the 14 pets that were rescued from an animal cruelty case on June 10 to remain in the care of the SPCA.
Five dogs, five koi fish, two cats, one macaw and a dead cockatoo were found by officials. An anonymous person called to report the animal cruelty.
Law enforcement discovered the cockatoo dead in a freezer and the animals were locked in cages overflown with feces. The pets needed to be helped, said the SPCA.
Officials said they had previously tried to speak with the owners to fix the animals living conditions.
“We try to work with people the best we can,” said Randi Dykes, a humane investigator with the SPCA. “Our goal is to keep the animals with the owners. Taking the animals is usually our last resort. In this situation we were left with our hands tied, and we just didn’t have a lot of options with the owner not willing to work with us at all.”
The owner of the animals was asked to pay the state, and they have 14 days to appeal the judge’s decision. Criminal charges may still be submitted by officials for this incident.