Members of the medical staff for the SPCA of Texas are busy treating and evaluating 37 dogs seized last week from a suspected puppy mill in East Texas.
The dogs, which include German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Cocker Spaniels, among others, were largely living in squalor when investigators took them from a private residence near Gilmer in Upshur County, Texas.
"A puppy mill is a place where money comes first and any sort of care of the dogs or cats comes at the very least a distant second, if not fourth or fifth or sixth down the line," said Maura Davies, vice president of communication for the SPCA of Texas.
Davies took NBC 5 to the McKinney facility where the dogs were being temporarily kept in outdoor kennels Monday while they undergo treatment for "various health issues including hair loss, eye issues, external parasites and long nails and many are underweight," according to a news release from the SPCA.
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Following up on a tip that the animals were living in unsanitary conditions, the SPCA reportedly found 19 of the dogs last week living in a "feces-filled, urine-soaked shed with access to six attached, fenced-in, feces-filled runs," the group said.
Investigators also found three deceased puppies on the premises, two of whom were found inside empty food bags.
Once they are deemed to be adoptable, the goal is for the rescued dogs to be made available to the public, Davies said.
There is a hearing in Upshur County on Thursday during which a judge will be asked to grant ownership of the dogs to the SPCA.