The SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County sheriff’s office served a search warrant on a property near Greenville and seized over 80 ill and malnourished cats and dogs living in filthy conditions and three dead puppies.
In a statement, the SPCA said it found 73 dogs, 11 cats, and the three deceased puppies on the property over the weekend. About a dozen dogs lived outdoors on the property, some confined to pens while others roamed freely, but all lacked access to adequate food and water. According to the statement, investigators found the three deceased puppies in an abandoned trailer on the property.
Investigators found the remaining more than 70 animals inside a home on the property littered with feces, urine, and other debris. Inside the house was a mother dog and her puppies inside a cardboard box, a newborn puppy found in another cardboard box, an injured cat underneath a couch, and a newborn kitten found in a box on the stove. The SPCA shared pictures and videos of the demoralizing scene in their statement.
The SPCA said it measured the ammonia levels of the home and found it to be more than six times the safe level for short-term exposure to humans and more than 11 times what is safe for long-term exposure.
According to the statement, several animals were underweight and suffered from eye and ear issues, hair loss, and overgrown nails. The SPCA transported the animals to be treated and cared for at the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in West Dallas. A civil custody hearing for the animals is scheduled for Friday, January 14.
Authorities were first called to the property on January 7 after receiving an animal cruelty complaint. Upon arrival, investigators witnessed a dog attacking another dog. The injured dog was seized and rushed to the veterinarian, where it died. Authorities then began working to obtain a warrant and seize the remaining animals, which was granted and served on Sunday, January 9.
The SPCA said at least one person lived on the property, and criminal charges are expected to be filed. The charges could include misdemeanor animal cruelty offenses for failure to provide necessary food, water, care, or shelter for an animal and for transporting or cruelly confining an animal.