Nearly 500 dogs were seized Tuesday from a kennel where a Humane Society supervisor said several dead animals were found after complaints the dogs hadn't received proper veterinary care.
The Montague County Sheriff's Department served search warrants at Maggic Pets/Heddins Kennel, which offers on its Web site breeds including pugs, schnauzers, toy beagles, akitas and shitzus.
Cloyce Heddins, the husband of the kennel's owner, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the dogs received proper care and authorities had bad information. He said his wife, Carol, has heart problems and was taken to a hospital by ambulance when officers arrived.
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"We've been in this business a long time," Heddins told the newspaper. "If you raise dogs, you've got to get them veterinary care, especially if you're trying to make a living of it."
Heddins did not immediately return a Tuesday night call from The Associated Press.
Sandy Grambort, a supervisor with the Humane Society of North Texas, said authorities found dogs in crates double-stacked in outbuildings, as well as in outdoor pens and kennels. Some had skin conditions and open sores, she said.
While not all the dogs appeared to have health problems, she said those in the poorest condition were discovered at the back of the property, where customers are not allowed.
"We are very secure in our case," Grambort said.
Heddins said officers took eight to 10 filing cabinets from the home. He suggested complaints could have come from a few dissatisfied customers.
"Every time someone gets mad they can just call and say someone is not taking care of his dogs, and that makes them subject to an investigation," he said.
The dogs were taken to a Fort Worth warehouse donated to temporarily house them. A Montague County justice of the peace will decide whether to return the animals to the kennel or leave them in the custody of the humane society.