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SPCA of Texas Awarded Custody of 107 Allegedly Cruelly Treated Animals Rescued from Balch Springs Property
Previously Seized 156 Cruelly Treated Animals from Same Property in August, 2015

(BALCH SPRINGS, TX); June 8, 2018 – During a custody hearing yesterday, June 7, 2018, at the Dallas County Government Center Precinct 1, Place 2 courthouse in Dallas, TX, Judge Valencia Nash awarded custody of 107 allegedly cruelly treated animals to the SPCA of Texas. The judge also awarded $22,425.05 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. Criminal charges are expected to be filed in this case.

On Thursday, May 31, 2018, under the authority of the Balch Springs Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office's Animal Cruelty Unit, the SPCA of Texas and Balch Springs Animal Services seized and the SPCA of Texas took custody of 107 cruelly treated animals from a property in Balch Springs. The animals seized included 57 cats, 36 kittens, 11 dogs, two deceased cats and one dove. The live animals were transported to the SPCA of Texas' Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas, where they will be cared for and evaluated by medical staff before a custody hearing takes place. Necropsies will be performed on the deceased cats to determine causes of death. 

To download photos from the scene and the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, please right click on the following link or copy and paste it into a browser: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xjg9vp1n96zsidm/AAD4tlIJyLbVmafNUEk7VARea?dl=0

Inside of a house on the property, cats and kittens were roaming freely in the feces-filled, urine soaked rooms. Most of the dogs were confined to small, wire crates in a separate bedroom with little to no access to food or water. One cat was found confined to a small, glass fishtank and two dogs roamed freely in the living room. Two deceased cats were found on the floor in the same areas where other live animals roamed. More cats and kittens were found in a garage behind the house. Many were confined to feces-filled wire crate with no access to food or water. Others roamed the garage freely. Several additional deceased cats and kittens were found wrapped in plastic grocery bags in an outdoor trash bin, but were too decomposed to remove for further examination. The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level to be 45 parts per million (ppm) inside of the house and 65 ppm inside of the garage. 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.

The animals appeared to be suffering from various health issues, including flea infestation, long nails, eye discharge and nasal discharge, and the majority appeared to be significantly underweight. At least one cat was missing an eye, one kitten had a bloody nose, and another kitten received emergency subcutaneous fluids at the scene.

Balch Springs Animals Services contacted the SPCA of Texas regarding the property on May 23, 2018 after receving information that the property owner had several cats that were covered with urine and feces. An SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigator visited the property on May 29, 2018, but was unable to make contact with the owner. The investigator stated that a strong scent of feces and ammonia could be smelled from outside of the house and garage. Based on the information provided and the smell the investigator witnessed, a search warrant and a seizure warrant were sought and obtained and served on Thursday, May 31, 2018.

The SPCA of Texas previously seized 156 cruelly treated animals from the same property on August 26, 2015. The animals seized at that time included 156 animals, consisting of 107 cats (five of which were deceased), 40 dogs, three doves, two chickens, one finch, one deceased parakeet and one guinea pig. Dozens more deceased animals were found on the property, however, their bodies were so badly decomposed that it was not possible to remove them. The owner was charged and pleaded guilty to cruelty to non-livestock animals, a Class A misdemeanor.

For more information on this case, visit https://www.spca.org/155.

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.

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Jose

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