The SPCA of Texas will be allowed to keep 71 animals seized from an East Texas puppy mill last month.
Judge Dean Fowler on Monday upheld a lower court’s ruling that awards custody of more than 70 animals found living in deplorable conditions on a residential property near Gladewater in early May, when the SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals including 64 dogs, six cats and one horse.
An Upshur County Constable first alerted the SPCA to the animals’ condition on May 7 and after conferring with an SPCA investigator who visited the site, the constable obtained a seizure warrant and worked with the SPCA staff to remove the animals from the property.
Many of the dogs were kept in rows of plastic, metal and wooden crates and approximately 20 dogs were found in fenced-in kennels behind a residence on the property.
Nine dogs were discovered tethered outside and appeared to have various health eye and skin issues, hair loss, matted fur, skin lesions and labored breathing. One dog is reported by the SPCA to have a distended abdomen and another dog had an injured tail.
Most of the cats were kept in carriers inside the residence on the property and were also reported to have matted fur.
The horse taken in this seizure was found to be underweight with a dull coat.
SPCA staffers transported the rescued animals to the Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney where they were examined by medical staff and cared for ending Monday's custody hearing.
Fowler also awarded the SPCA of Texas $20,794.35 in restitution to offset the cost of caring for the animals however SPCA representatives told NBC 5 that they don’t expect to receive any of that money.
Those wishing to donate to the SPCA of Texas and support their efforts to help abused and neglected animals are encouraged to visit www.spca.org.