A total of 89 animals were seized from a Texas property by the SPCA of Texas and Hunt County Constables Wednesday.
"It is a heartbreaking situation for the animals and the people involved," said Maura Davies, with the SPCA of Texas. "My heart goes out to everybody."
On Wednesday, the SPCA of Texas received authority from the Hunt County Constable's office to remove all animals on a property that contained filthy living conditions. The SPCA seized 57 dogs, 26 cats, five puppies and one kitten from the residence.
Most of the dogs were living inside cages that were filled with feces and urine. One crate contained a dead mouse according to the SPCA.
"The majority of the dogs were held in tiny crates, sometimes multiple dogs in one crate," said Davies.
Many dogs were loose inside the residence and two were found outside. Another animal was found inside a parked car on the property. All of the cats were found in a separate room by themselves.
The home also contained an ammonia level of 62 parts per million, SPCA said in a news release. Short term exposure to ammonia level over 20 ppm or long term exposure to ammonia level over 12 ppm can cause health issues to a person.
SPCA of Texas officials said they've had previous encounters with the homeowner. They have seized 45 animals from the property in 2010. Both the SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County Constable have worked with the owner for more than a year to try to bring the pets' living conditions into accordance with the Texas Health and Safety Code.
The owner of the animals agreed to cooperate and gave up 12 dogs to the SPCA of Texas in 2013. The SPCA of Texas had continued to monitor the animals through out the year. However, the living conditions began to worsen and a warrant was served on Wednesday to retrieve all animals from the home.
"Unfortunately, there is no state law that prevents this situation from reoccurring," said Davies.
The animals suffered from various health issues that ranged from hair loss to flea infestation. All of the animals were transported to Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney were they are being examined by medical staff. The animals will remain under their care until a custody hearing takes place on Monday at the Hunt County Justice of the Peace Precinct One courthouse at 10 a.m.
"It's our hope to be able to everything we can for as many of these guys as possible," said Davies. "It's just that they've come from such a difficult situation. That right now — we just don't know."
The SPCA said if they are given custody of the animals, they will evaluate each animal for potential adoption on a case-by-case basis.