DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas SPCA and Hunt County Sheriff’s Office issued a search and seizure order on Jan. 9 on a Hunt County property before removing 87 animals from the property.
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The animals included 73 dogs, 11 cats and three deceased puppies, which were transported to the SPCA in Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center. The live animals will be assessed and cared for by medical and behavioral staff until a civil custody hearing takes place on Friday 14 January.
A dozen dogs were found outdoors on the property without adequate access to food, water or shelter. A few dogs were confined in folds and others roamed freely on the property. Inside a home on the property, about 60 dogs and 11 cats were found alive in feces, urine and other debris. A dog mother and her puppies were found inside a cardboard box, and additional neonatal puppies were found in another box. An injured cat was found under a sofa and a single newborn kitten was found inside a box on a stove. Three deceased puppies were found in an abandoned trailer on the property.
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The SPCA in Texas measured ammonia levels at 134 parts per million (ppm) inside the home. For a reference point, short-term exposure to any ammonia level above 20 ppm or long-term exposure to any level above 12 ppm can cause human health problems.
The animals appeared to suffer from various health conditions, including eye problems, ear problems, hair loss and overgrown nails, and several appeared to be underweight.
The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of animal cruelty referred by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and visited the property on January 7th. When they arrived at the property, investigators observed a dog being attacked by another dog in its enclosure. Due to the intrusive circumstances surrounding the extent of the dog’s injuries, it was seized without a warrant. The dog was taken to an emergency vet, where it succumbed to its injuries. At the time, the SPCA’s Texas investigators were working with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office to obtain an order to remove the remaining animals. The order was obtained on Friday, January 7, and proclaimed on Sunday, January 9.
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Charges are expected in this case.