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SPCA of Texas Awarded Custody of 19 Cruelly Confined Animals Seized from Dallas County Property


(DALLAS COUNTY, TX); November 3, 2016
– At a custody hearing today at the Dallas County Government Center Precinct 1, Place 2 court in Lancaster, TX, Judge Valencia Nash found that 19 animals seized from a Pleasant Grove property had been cruelly treated and awarded custody of the animals to the SPCA of Texas. The judge also awarded $4,667.25 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 Friday, October 28, the SPCA of Texas, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the Dallas Police Department seized and took custody of 18 cruelly confined animals from a property in the Pleasant Grove area of Southeast Dallas County. The animals include 13 dogs and 5 cats. The animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Emergency Rescue Center in Dallas, and will be examined by medical staff and cared for until a custody hearing could take place. One additional dog was found at the same home on November 2.


To download photos from the scene, please click HERE


Most of the animals were found living in a urine-soaked, feces-filled house on the property. One dog was found shut in a tiny closet, forced to live in approximately three feet of what appeared to be insulation of some type mixed with urine and feces. The cats were kept in a bathroom in the house. That bathroom floor was barely visible through a mix of trash, feces, litter and household items. A few dogs were found outside the house. 


The animals appear to have varying health issues, including flea infestation, hair loss, extremely long nails and skin sores and growths.


The SPCA of Texas received a complaint regarding cruelly treated animals on the property in June of 2015, and Investigators visited the property two times. After these visits, there was not sufficient evidence of animal cruelty and the case was closed. Then, in mid-September of this year, the SPCA of Texas received another complaint of cruelly treated animals on the property and SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigators visited the property four times. During the first three visits, the animal owner refused the Investigators entry into the residence. During the final visit, Tuesday, October 25, the animal owner stated to the Investigator that she had moved out of the residence due to the conditions inside and had been sleeping on patio furniture under a covered structure behind the residence. Based on that information and other probable cause factors, the Investigator filed for a search warrant, and the warrant was signed on Friday, October 28. When the investigator gained access to the residence and observed the animals' living conditions, which were not in compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code, he determined that the animals were in need of immediate removal. The SPCA of Texas, Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the Dallas Police Department concurred that it was in the animals' best interest to remove them and sought a seizure warrant.


The custody hearing was held on Thursday, November 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Dallas County Government Center Precinct 1, Place 2 courthouse located at 107 Texas Street, Lancaster, TX 75146, the Honorable Valencia Nash 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 www.spca.org/helptheanimals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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