Nose for News

SPCA of Texas Receives Custody of Six Dogs Allegedly Used for Dogfighting
Seized from Kaufman County Property

(KAUFMAN COUNTY, TX; DALLAS, TX); July 16, 2019 - Today, the SPCA of Texas was awarded custody of six dogs suspected of being used for dogfighting during a civil custody hearing in Kaufman County. Judge Mike Smith, Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 assigned restitution in the amount of $1,659.50 to be paid by the owner 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. The SPCA of Texas will continue to provide rehabilitative care and individually evaluate the animals for adoption or placement on a case by case basis. The case will be filed with the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office, who will determine whether criminal charges will be filed.

On Friday, July 12, 2019, the SPCA of Texas, the Terrell Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Terrell Animal Control and Code Enforcement seized and the SPCA of Texas took protective custody of six dogs from a property in Terrell, Texas. The dogs seized include three German Shepherd mix dogs and three Pit Bull mix dogs. The dogs were transported to the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center, where they were evaluated and treated by medical staff.

To view and download photos and videos from the scene, please click on the following link or copy and paste it into a browser: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2rc4ywy1pgvv81d/AABM_xstNwV9o_rMS8-ftRKxa?dl=0

The dogs were found outside on the property, individually tethered by heavy, metal tow chains. The dogs did not have access to food, water or shelter from the elements. The dogs' living conditions are consistent with the housing of game dogs (fighting dogs). A treadmill was also found at the scene. In some cases of dogfighting, treadmills are used to condition the dogs for fighting. 

The dogs are underweight and are suffering from various medical conditions, including bite wounds, cuts and scrapes, hair loss, long nails and scarring from previous injuries. Many of the dogs have several wounds in various states of healing. One dog received veterinary treatment for bite wounds that were still bleeding at the time of seizure.

The SPCA of Texas received a complaint of suspected animal cruelty from the property in question on July 12, 2019 from the Terrell Police Department’s Narcotics Unit. The property and individual reported by the complainant had previously been investigated by the SPCA of Texas for dogfighting in 2013. During that investigation, 11 dogs were seized by the SPCA of Texas and the owner was charged and convicted of a state jail felony for causing a dog to fight with another dog.

Based on the known history of the property and information provided by the complainant, an SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigator was able to secure a seizure warrant the same day. After receiving the warrant, the SPCA of Texas and other agencies quickly removed the dogs.

The act of dogfighting is punishable by a felony in all 50 states, but sentences for this charge vary from state to state. Dogfighting is defined as any situation in which one dog attacks or fights with another dog. In most cases, dogs used in dogfighting have been bred, trained and conditioned for the purpose of fighting another dog. Many dog fights result in devastating injuries, and even death in severe cases. Dogs being trained for dogfighting are subjected to cruel practices, including the use of heavy restraints, weights and modified treadmills for strength training, given drugs or supplements that may influence behavior and isolation to encourage aggression towards other dogs, and in some instances, people.

In the state of Texas, it is a state jail felony to cause a dog to fight with another dog, participate in the earnings of or operate a facility used for dog fighting or use or permit another to use any real-estate, building, room, tent, arena or other property for dogfighting. Other offenses, including owning or possessing dog-fighting equipment with the intent that the equipment be used to train a dog for dog fighting or furtherance of dog fighting, owning or training a dog with the intent that the dog be used in an exhibition of dog fighting or attending as a spectator at an exhibition of dog fighting are Class A Misdemeanors according the Texas Penal Code, Section 42.10.

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. To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at www.spca.org.

Foster

Love Puppies & Kittens?

Cuddle puppies and kittens, dote on dogs and cats, provide post-operative care for canines and felines and teach four-legged foster friends what snuggling is all about.

Learn More

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