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Owner of 19 Allegedly Cruelly Treated Dogs Seized from Dallas Property Arrested

 

 


(DALLAS, TX); September 20, 2018
– Yesterday afternoon, the SPCA of Texas, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the Dallas Police Department arrested the owner of 19 allegedly cruelly treated dogs seized on September 7 and September 8, 2018 from a property in the 1000 block of Hidden Valley Drive in South Central Dallas. The owner was charged with two separate counts of Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals, which are Class A Misdemeanors, including one charge of "fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, water, care or shelter for an animal in the persons custody" with a bond set at $1,500 and another charge of "transports or confines an animal in a cruel manner" with a bond set at $1,500. The owner was booked in to the Lew Sterrett Justice Center and is awaiting trial.


On Friday, September 7, and Saturday, September 8, 2018, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, the Dallas Police Department and Dallas Animal Services seized and the SPCA of Texas took custody of 19 allegedly cruelly treated dogs from a property in the 1000 block of Hidden Valley Drive in South Central Dallas. The animals seized include 15 live dogs and four deceased dogs. Ten of the live dogs and the four deceased dogs were seized on Friday, September 7, and five of the live dogs were seized on Saturday, September 8. The live dogs were transported to the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas, where they were evaluated by medical staff. While 15 live dogs were seized, one of the emaciated dogs was later euthanized due to kidney failure as recommended by a licensed veterinarian. The four deceased dogs removed from the property on Friday, September 7, were too decomposed for necropsies to return reliable indication of cause of death, but were held in custody as evidence. On Wednesday, September 12, 2018, the SPCA of Texas was awarded custody of the animals during a civil custody hearing and proceeded to collect evidence in order to file criminal charges in this case.


To download photos of some of the dogs, please visit HERE


Of the living dogs, six were found in the back yard. Five dogs were found inside the house in individual crates. Three of the dogs were found inside the garage of the house. The remaining dog was found inside a crate on the front porch. Two of the deceased dogs were found in the garage and two were found in the back yard, one inside a dog igloo and the other inside a large trash can. None of the deceased dogs were visible from outside the property.


The animals appear to be suffering from various health issues, including long nails, malnourishment and fly strike. One of the dogs was emaciated, one is thin and all of the other dogs are slightly underweight.


In April of 2018, Dallas Animal Services picked up a dog running at large near the Hidden Valley Drive property and asked the SPCA of Texas to review the dog’s condition. There was no evidence at that time to indicate any violation to the Texas State Animal Cruelty Statute, and no case of animal cruelty was opened with the SPCA of Texas.


The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of suspected animal cruelty at the Hidden Valley Drive property from Dallas Animal Services on Friday, September 7, 2018 and SPCA of Texas Investigators visited the property right away. Dallas Animal Services called the SPCA of Texas to take on this investigation pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the SPCA of Texas and the Dallas Police Department designed to help bring perpetrators of animal cruelty to justice. For more information about the MOU and how the SPCA of Texas investigates animal cruelty, please visit www.spca.org/acistats


During the visit on Friday, September 7, the SPCA of Texas' Investigators observed that the conditions of the animals in plain sight were in violation of Texas State Animal Cruelty Statute. The SPCA of Texas then sought and obtained a civil seizure warrant and executed that warrant immediately. This civil warrant allowed the Investigators access to the property and any areas not secured by locks in order to seize any animal in plain sight. Investigators tried to gain access to the residence on the property, but all doors and windows were securely locked and Investigators were unable to see inside the house from outside. A separate warrant, an evidentiary criminal search warrant, was necessary to gain access to the locked house, and the SPCA of Texas Investigator contacted a District Judge that Friday night and presented the evidence obtained that day to that judge on the morning of Saturday, September 8. Based on the evidence, the District Judge signed an evidentiary criminal search warrant and the SPCA of Texas immediately served that warrant, gained access to the interior of the house and seized the remaining five dogs.


Under current judicial structure, the SPCA of Texas' Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit must prove the facts of the case and provide proper evidence, gathered in the proper way according to legal standards to the District Attorney's Office and any judge. It is the SPCA of Texas’ goal to build the best case possible in order to move forward and hold perpetrators of animal cruelty accountable to the fullest extent of the Texas State Law.

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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