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SPCA of Texas Seized 421 Allegedly Cruelly Treated Animals from Caldwell County Property

(CALDWELL COUNTY, TX, DALLAS, TX); February 21, 2017– Yesterday, under the authority of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, the SPCA of Texas took custody of 421 allegedly cruelly confined animals from a property near Lockhart, TX, in Caldwell County. The animals include approximately 150 feeder mice and rats, 86 snakes, 56 guinea pigs, 28 dogs, 26 rabbits, 15 goats, 9 doves, 8 skinks, 7 ferrets, 7 pigs, 6 pigeons, 4 geckos/lizards, 4 gerbils, 4 turtles, 3 bearded dragons, 2 ducks, 2 miniature pigs, 2 tortoises, 1 tarantula and 1 turkey. Dozens of deceased animals were also found on the property. The living animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Animal Rescue Center, Empowered by PetSmart Charities, in Dallas and the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, where they will be examined by medical staff and cared for with the goal of placing them up for adoption when they are ready.

To download photos from the scene, please click HERE.

Most of the animals were found living inside a house on the property. Inside the house, the smell of urine was overpowering. The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level in the residence to be 29 parts per million (ppm). As 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.

Amid the clutter and dozens of deceased animals of many species, living animals were housed in small, feces-filled cages or roaming free in the bedroom. Most of the snakes were living in a closet and a bathroom. One dog was living inside a guinea pig enclosure. Most of the reptiles were not being properly housed, most not having appropriate food, living in their own filth, without functioning and/or appropriate heat lamps. Some dogs and all of the rabbits, goats and pigs were living in the yard and in a shed on the property in wire cages, carriers and homemade enclosures.  

Many of the animals are suffering from various health issues, including long nails, eye issues and malnutrition. One dog has eyes issues in both eyes.

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office reached out to the SPCA of Texas regarding the animals' conditions late last week. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office explained the animals conditions, and the two agencies agreed that it was in the animals' best interest to remove them. The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office sought a search and seizure warrant and the animals were removed. It is the SPCA of Texas' understanding that criminal charges are pending.

A custody hearing will be held on Monday, February 27, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the Caldwell County Justice Center located at 1703 S. Colorado St., Lockhart, TX, 421st District Judge, the Honorable Chris Schneider presiding.

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


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SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner