SPCA of Texas and Van Zandt County Sheriff's Department Seize
41 Cruelly Confined Animals from Van Zandt
County Property

(WILLS POINT, TX/McKINNEY, TX); June 28, 2011 -- Under the authority of the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Department, the SPCA of Texas seized 41 cruelly confined animals -- 38 dogs and puppies, two turtles and one bird -- today from a property in Wills Point, TX.

The animals were being forced to live in feces-filled, urine-soaked conditions, and many of the animals did not have access to an appropriate water source. The current heat wave in North Texas put the animals' health at greater risk.   

To view photos and video taken at the property today, see below.

SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, TX today, where they will be examined by medical staff and cared for until the custody hearing, which will be held on Thursday, July 7 at 10 a.m. at the Van Zandt County, Pct. 1 Courthouse located at 212 Garland St. in Grand Saline, TX, Judge Don Kirkpatrick presiding.

If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

Nineteen puppies and six dogs, mostly Chow Chows, as well as two turtles and one bird, a cockatiel, were living inside a trailer house on the property.

Conditions inside the trailer home were extremely poor, and included urine-soaked carpet, feces throughout, a severe flea infestation and high ammonia levels. The ammonia level inside one bedroom in the residence was so strong -- 18 parts per million -- that the SPCA of Texas investigators' eyes and throat began burning when they walked in. 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. Although many bowls were visible throughout the house, no water was found in any of the bowls. The bird did not have access to food.

Twelve more dogs were being housed in a 15 foot by 20 foot pen, which was filled with feces, outside the residence. These dogs did not have food in their enclosure, and their water bowls were contaminated by algae.

One additional dog, who was being kept inside a filthy, feces-filled horse trailer, had water but the only food available to this dog was mixed in with the feces on the bottom of the horse trailer.

Many of the dogs have dirty, matted coats, hair loss, eye discharge, flea infestation and long nails.

The SPCA of Texas will know even more about the animals' exact medical conditions once staff has completed medical evaluations of each animal.

"These dogs had no escape from the filthy conditions they were forced to live in," said Colby Grady, Chief Investigator for the SPCA of Texas. "We are pleased that we can start giving them the care and living conditions they were is such dire need of when we seized them today."

Late last week, the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Department contacted the SPCA of Texas, requesting assistance in seizing the animals. The SPCA of Texas concurred with the Sheriff's department that it was in the animals' best interest to obtain a seizure warrant and remove the animals immediately.

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