KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — The SPCA of Texas and the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office seized 19 animals from a residence on County Road 134 yesterday and, while conducting the seizure, located several other deceased animals on the property which were too decomposed to be removed.
According to the SPCA, 13 dogs, five cats, and one horse were seized from the property — all of which were suffering from various medical issues.
"Three dogs were found tethered by chains to trees and six other dogs were found roaming freely on the property," stated the SPCA of Texas. "Three deceased puppies and three deceased dogs were found in small, shed-type structures. One dog and three cats were found inside the living area of the residence, which was filled with feces, urine, trash and other debris."
"Three dogs were found shut in a bedroom with no access to food or water and two cats were found closed inside an adjoining bathroom, which held feces-filled sinks and a feces-filled bathtub," continued the SPCA. "One deceased cat was also found in the bathroom. Several deceased birds were found inside filthy cages in the living area. No appropriate food or water was seen inside of the residence, and no potable water was found outside."
On April 12, 2019, the SPCA of Texas received a complaint of possible animal cruelty at the property. SPCA investigators attempted to contact the property owner several times unsuccessfully. On April 23, 2019, SPCA investigators and the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office visited the property on a welfare check and observed "poor conditions and a strong scent of ammonia," enough for investigators to obtain a search and seizure warrant.
Upon serving the warrants on April 25, 2019, the SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level inside the residence to be 286 parts per million (ppm).
"For a point of reference, 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," stated the SPCA.
"The animals appear to have various medical issues, including hair loss, eye issues, wounds, flea infestation, long nails and injured limbs," stated the SPCA. "Many of the dogs appear to be significantly underweight. One dog appears to have a severe injury to his leg causing a limp and another dog appears to have extreme hair loss on its entire body."
The dogs and cats were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center and the horse was transported to the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center.
The animals will be cared for and evaluated by medical staff until a civil custody hearing takes place on April 30, 2019, before Precinct 1 Kaufman County Justice of the Peace Judge Mary Bardin.