On Saturday, the Texas SPCA removed 138 dogs including 21 puppies and two cats from a suspected puppy mill in Fannin County. According to the organization’s press release, the dogs were removed on Friday after they were discovered living in filthy conditions.
“More than 30 dogs were housed inside the residence on the property. Most of the animals were housed in a structure behind the residence, and were all found living in filthy cages, crates and kennels, up to three dogs in each. This structure was infested with roaches, which were found crawling all over the dogs and cats housed there. In one area, the dogs were being housed in feces- and urine-filled wire crates stacked on top of each other. In another area, a makeshift run of feces- and urine-filled pens held the majority of the dogs. The entire structure was coated in feces and drenched in urine, and the stench of feces and urine was so strong that it caused investigators to gag and could be smelled from well outside the structure.”
An investigation had been launched after the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint concerning dogs living in horrible conditions from representatives from Child Protective Services that had been on the property on a separate complaint. The SPCA, along with the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office and the Honey Grove Police Department participated in the raid and removed all of the animals.
Maura Davies from the Texas SPCA stated the owners were running a puppy mill and mistreating the dogs. Cockroaches were found crawling all over the areas as well as over the animals as they were being removed from the premises.
“The animals appear to be suffering from various health issues, including matted fur, fur loss, fleas, dental issues, long nails, ear issues, tumors and more…”
Many of the dogs have health problems and have been transferred to the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center for treatment and care until a scheduled custody hearing on January 15.
Texas law requires all large-scale breeders to be licensed and inspected on a regular basis. It is unclear if the owner is properly licensed according to the Large Scale Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Bill which took effect on September 1, 2012. The legislation provides guidelines for the treatment of animals in large-scale breeding facilities which is defined as anyone who keeps 11 or more breeding females or sells 20 or more puppies or kittens a year. The law specifies specific conditions including feeding, space, shelter, ventilation and medical care.
(Photos via Texas SPCA Facebook)
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