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Arrests Made in the Case of 58 Animals Seized from an Alleged Puppy Mill in Van Zandt County on March 14, 2018


(VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX; DALLAS, TX); April 6, 2018--
Today, Darlene Broseh and Vicky Patrick were arrested on one charge of Class A Misdemeanor Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals regarding a case from March 14, 2018 and were booked into the Van Zandt County Jail. The warrants came after a Grand Jury Indictment. Broseh and Patrick were released on a Personal Recognizance Bond and a trial date is to be determined.

On Wednesday, March 14th, the SPCA of Texas, the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office and the Van Zandt County Constable, Pct. 2, seized and the SPCA of Texas took custody of 60 allegedly cruelly treated animals and 11 deceased animals from an alleged puppy mill--including 35 dogs and 25 puppies--from a property near Canton, TX. SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the organization's Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas, where they were examined by medical staff and cared for until the custody hearing.

To see photos from the event, please click HERE

Many of the dogs and puppies were found in living in feces-filled wire crates with no access to food or water. In one room, several nursing mothers with litters of puppies were found confined in small, plastic and wire crates in a closet. Other dogs roamed the urine-soaked, feces-filled house with little to no access food or water. The eleven deceased animals, including one adult dog and ten puppies, were found individually wrapped in plastic bags in the kitchen freezer.

The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level in the residence to be 22 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.

The animals appeared to be suffering from various health issues, including fur loss, long nails, eye issues, ear issues, matted fur and more.

The animal owner let investigators know that they were selling the dogs for profit. All large-scale animal breeders in Texas are required by law to be licensed and inspected on a regular basis. Further investigation found that the animal owner was not properly licensed. The Texas puppy mill bill, known as the Large-Scale Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Bill, took effect on September 1, 2012. It provides guidelines for the treatment of animals in large-scale commercial breeding operations in Texas, defined as breeders who keep 11 or more breeding females or sell 20 or more puppies or kittens a year. The law specifies that certain parameters exist for such animals, including feeding, space, shelter, ventilation and medical care, and is administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

The SPCA of Texas' Animal Cruelty Investigators received a complaint of suspected animal cruelty from another animal welfare organization on March 1st regarding an alleged puppy mill. The SPCA of Texas' Investigators visited the property that same day, but were not able to make contact with the owner. On Tuesday, March 13th, the Investigators returned to the property, when they witnessed the animals' conditions. The SPCA of Texas' Investigators and the Van Zandt County Constable's Office, Pct. 2 concurred that it was in the animals' best interest to seize them, took the information to a judge and the judge granted a search and seizure warrant.

At the custody hearing on March 23, 2018 at the Van Zandt County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 Courthouse in Canton, TX, Judge Sandra Plaster presiding, the owner of animals seized from a Canton property agreed to relinquish custody of 58 animals to the SPCA of Texas. While 60 live animals were seized on March 14th, two 3- to 4-week old puppies passed away after being removed, one due to a birth defect preventing it from thriving and the other from a severe infestation of parasites and an intestinal virus. The SPCA of Texas waived $16,814.50 in restitution 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 individually evaluate the animals for adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

To help support the SPCA of Texas' efforts to help abused, neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, please visit To learn more about the SPCA of Texas, please visit our website at





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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