Sheriff's Office seizes 35 neglected animals in VZ County
Released by the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office:
VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - On Wednesday March 21st, 2012 the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office and the SPCA of Texas seized 35 animals – 22 dogs, 11 cats, one pig and one goat from a puppy mill in Wills Point, Texas. The animals were cruelly confined, forced to live in their own filth and were not receiving proper water or care.
Inside the residence, four (4) dogs were confined to small crates that were filled with feces and urine without access to water. The residence had a strong smell of ammonia that could be sensed from outside the door. Outside the residence, 18 dogs, 11 cats, one pig and one goat were living in their own waste and other debris inside pens and cages. One cat was found living inside what appeared to be a bird cage. These animals did not have access to an appropriate water source.
All of the animals were living in unsanitary conditions, which were infested with mice, roaches and fleas. The animals are suffering from a variety of issues, including hair loss, eye discharge, long nails, flea infestation and many are thin. The pig has mange and extremely overgrown hooves. The goat is suffering from an abscess.
The animal owner and a family member both stated today that the animal owner had been breeding the dogs and selling them.
The Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office contacted the SPCA of Texas on March 14th regarding suspected animal cruelty. The SPCA of Texas then attempted to work with the animal owner to bring the animals' living conditions into compliance with Texas Health and Safety Code. With no response from the animal owner, the SPCA of Texas contacted the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office Investigator on March 20th and visited the property. As the animals' living conditions had not improved, the SPCA of Texas and the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office concurred that the animals needed to be removed.
The custody hearing will be held on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the Van Zandt County Justice of the Peace Pct. #3 Courthouse at 145 North Fifth Street, in Wills Point, Texas with the Honorable Judge Herbert Dunn presiding.