(KAUFMAN COUNTY, TX/McKINNEY, TX); September 29, 2010 -- At a hearing that began yesterday and ended today at the Kaufman County Courthouse
in Kaufman, TX, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, Judge Johnny Perry
awarded custody of 20 dogs seized under the authority of the Kaufman
County Sheriff's Department on Friday, September 24, 2010, to the SPCA
of Texas. Judge Perry
also awarded restitution in the amount of $5,247.26 to the SPCA of
Texas. However, the SPCA of Texas does not expect to actually receive
any of this money to help offset costs.
the hearing was over, the owner decided to surrender the animals to the
SPCA of Texas so that the SPCA of Texas could immediately begin the
process of individually
evaluating the animals for potential adoption or placement on a case by
The animal owner, Connie Botkin, admitted that conditions were poor and that the animals were in bad shape.
SPCA of Texas staff veterinarian Dr. Shawn Ashley, in her evaluation of the animals' conditions, said, "In
my professional opinion, these animals lacked basic care, lacked basic
preventive medicine, lacked proper nutrition and were housed in a less
than adequate environment."
agree with the evidence of the SPCA of Texas and their veterinarian. I
can't argue, the animals were neglected," said Ms. Botkin. "I let
everything get out of control."
heard a lot of testimony over the last two days, and I think you're a
good lady, but I think this is more responsibility than you can handle,"
said Judge Perry. "We have 20 animals that are in poor shape...that's
the bottom line."
seen the animals that come in and I've seen animals that I thought
didn't have a chance, but the SPCA of Texas has rehabilitated them,"
Judge Perry continued. "I've seen the results and I think the SPCA of
does an exceptional job."
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receiving a complaint of animal cruelty, the Kaufman County Sheriff's
department visited the property and discovered the alleged animal
cruelty and fire hazards. The Kaufman County Sheriff's department called the SPCA of Texas and the Kaufman County Fire Marshal on Thursday, September 23 and both agencies immediately responded to the property.
After visiting the location, the Fire Marshal issued an order to
disconnect the electricity due to imminent danger to the life of the people
and animals on the property.
though many of the animals were in need of immediate veterinary care,
the animal owner refused to take them to a veterinarian for treatment
and refused the SPCA of Texas' offer to allow her to surrender the
animals so that they could receive the care they needed. At that time,
the SPCA of Texas concurred with the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department
that it was in the animals' best interest to obtain a warrant and
remove the animals. The sheriff's department also called in Kaufman County Environmental Enforcement to investigate the conditions on the property. On Friday, September 24, some of the dogs were confined to wire crates inside one
mobile home full of hay and debris; others were confined to a
second, feces-filled mobile home on the property, which also appeared to
be used as the owner's residence and half of the dogs were tethered
outside. The smell
of feces was overwhelming throughout the entire property.
Most of the dogs were thin and did not have access to appropriate food or water,
16 had hair loss and skin conditions, 18 had internal parasites and all
were infested with fleas. Some dogs also had eye discharge and broken
of the dogs were in need of immediate veterinary care, and one dog had a broken foot that an SPCA of Texas veterinarian
estimated had it been broken more than 12 weeks previously and had not been treated.
"These living conditions are not suitable for animals much less humans," said Deputy Constable, Pct. 1, Shawn Mayfield. "My hat is off to the SPCA of Texas for seizing the animals and providing them with the proper care they deserve."
of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the Perry Animal Care
Center in McKinney, TX, where they were examined by medical staff and cared for until the custody hearing.
help support the SPCA of Texas and its efforts to help abused,
neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas' other
programs and services, please visit www.spca.org/helptheanimals. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at www.spca.org.