(DALLAS COUNTY, TX); April 18, 2017 – At a custody hearing today at the Dallas County Government Center Precinct 1, Place 2 court in Lancaster, TX, Judge Valencia Nash found that 32 animals seized from a Lancaster property had been cruelly treated and awarded custody of the animals to the SPCA of Texas. The judge also awarded $8,070.80 in restitution to the SPCA of Texas for the cost of investigation, expert witnesses, housing and care for the animals from the time of the seizure to the hearing in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code. However, the SPCA of Texas does not expect to receive any of this money to help offset costs. If the animal owner does not file an appeal in the next ten days, the SPCA of Texas would at that time individually evaluate the animals for adoption or placement on a case by case basis. If the animal owner does file an appeal in the next ten days, that hearing will take place at a later date, and that court's ruling will be final.
On April 13, the SPCA of Texas and the Lancaster Police Department seized and took custody of 32 cruelly confined animals from a property in Southeast Dallas County. The animals--including 17 dogs and 15 puppies--were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Animal Rescue Center, Empowered by PetSmart Charities Emergency Relief, in Dallas, and were examined by medical staff and cared for until the custody hearing took place on Tuesday, April 18.
To download photos and video of the animals, please click HERE.
Some of the animals were found living in a urine-soaked, feces-filled house on the property. Others were found outside, one chained to a tree. Several were kept in a garage on the property in kennels.
The animals appear to have varying health issues, including flea infestation, hair loss, extremely long nails and skin sores and other injuries. Some of the puppies were suffering from potentially life-threatening medical issues. Two of those puppies have since passed away due to the medical issues they were suffering from when they were seized.
The Lancaster Police Department visited the property the morning of April 13 in response to another investigation, found the animals living in cruel confinement and reached out to the SPCA of Texas. The SPCA of Texas and the Lancaster Police Department concurred that it was in the animals' best interest to remove them immediately and sought a seizure warrant.
To 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.