Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12319
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Friday, Sep 14, 2007

County: Young

Disposition: Not Charged
Case Images: 12 files available

Abuser names unreleased

The Young County Sheriff's Office and the SPCA of Texas seized more than 100 purebred dogs and several Siamese cats Friday morning at a filthy, overcrowded barn that was apparently being used as a puppy mill.

Armed with a warrant, sheriff's deputies and SPCA workers started gathering up the animals and loading them into trailers around 9 a.m. Friday.

The dogs were being bred on property south of the town of Loving, which is about 2 hours west of Fort Worth.

Toy breeds such as Yorkies, Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, miniature dachshunds and Chihuahuas were crowded into a hot, insect-infested, feces-covered barn. There were also Boxers in wire cages that were stacked on top of each other.

Besides being overcrowded, the barn was full of fleas, ticks, black widow spiders and wasps.

"It's like an abandoned place where someone just stuck all of the animals to suffer," said Maura Davies with the SPCA of Texas.

Not surprisingly, the animals are in poor health, many with matted coats. Some may be diseased.

"They're in really bad shape, lots of hair loss, ticks, eye problems," said Davies.

The most disturbing discovery was a water-filled pit that contains the decomposing remains of at least 10 dogs. The carcasses of several other dogs were found scattered around the property.

Davies said the barn is surrounded by a moat of feces and dog food.

"Because of recent rains, feces and food have come out from under the wood and created a moat," she said.

Davies said it appeared that someone washed down the barn floor Thursday but by Friday morning it was already covered again in feces.

So far, no one has been arrested although there is a mobile home that is occupied on the property. A spokeswoman with the Young County Sheriff's Office who would only identify herself as Barbara said the case is still being investigated.

Sheriff's deputies stumbled upon the suspected puppy mill recently while investigating a nearby shooting.

It's not known yet if any animals bred on the property had been sold but there is evidence that it was a breeding operation. The barn was dissected into approximately 33 dog runs and breeds were housed separately from each other.

"This is a case of cruel confinement," said Davies.

The SPCA will keep the animals at its shelter in McKinney at least until a hearing Monday which will determine if the rescue group will gain custody of the dogs and cats.

The hearing will be held 2 p.m. Monday at the courthouse in Graham, Texas.

The SPCA is seeking contributions to help with food, shelter, and veterinary costs.


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