SPCA of Texas Awarded Final Custody of 71 Cruelly Treated Animals Seized from Upshur County Property
Jun 03, 2014 | 1672 views | 1 1 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SPCA of Texas Awarded Final Custody of 71 Cruelly Treated Animals Seized from Upshur County Property

(UPSHUR COUNTY, TX; McKINNEY, TX); June 2, 2014 –
Today at an appeal hearing at the Upshur County Courthouse in Gilmer, TX, Judge Dean Fowler upheld a previous court's decision and awarded custody of 71 cruelly treated animals seized from a Gladewater, TX property in May to the SPCA of Texas. Judge Fowler also awarded the SPCA of Texas $20,794.35 in restitution. However, the SPCA of Texas does not actually expect to receive any of this money to help offset costs. Texas state statute allows for one appeal in civil animal custody cases. As this appeal has been decided, the SPCA of Texas has final custody of the animals and will now individually evaluate them for adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

At the original custody hearing at the Upshur County Courthouse in Gilmer, TX, on May 16, Judge W.V. Ray awarded custody of the 71 cruelly treated animals to the SPCA of Texas as well as restitution.

On May 8, under the authority of the Upshur County Constable, Pct. 1, the SPCA of Texas seized and took custody of 71 cruelly treated animals--64 dogs, six cats and one horse--from a property near Gladewater, Texas.

To download photos, please right click on the following link or copy and paste it into a browser: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zbiyijn8yv42exj/AACRoD9KPYP6binMo2XBe3hXa.

Most of the dogs were found living in trash-filled residence on the property in rows of plastic, metal and wooden crates. Approximately 20 dogs were found inside fenced-in kennels behind the building. Nine of the dogs were tethered outside. Various breeds found include Great Pyrenees mixes, Hound Mixes, Miniature Pinschers, Red Heelers and other mixed breeds. The dogs appeared to have various health issues, including hair loss, tumors, labored breathing, eye issues, skin isues, matted fur, one dog had a distended abdomen and one dog had an injured tail.

Most of the cats were kept in carriers inside the residence on the property. One cat was found in a metal cage. Many of the cats have matted fur.

The horse was living outside in a pasture, is very underweight and has a dull coat.

The Upshur County Constable, Pct. 1, contacted the SPCA of Texas regarding concerns of animal cruelty on May 7 in reference to a puppy mill case. An SPCA of Texas Investigator visited the property that day, and the SPCA of Texas and the Upshur County Constable determined that the animals were being cruelly treated. The Upshur County Constable and the SPCA of Texas concurred that it was in the animals' best interest to remove the animals, and the Upshur County Constable sought a seizure warrant.

"Thanks to the excellent work of several entities, led by Upshur County Constable, Pct. 1, Gene Dolle, the animals have been receiving the care they needed since the seizure," said Colby Grady, Chief Investigator for the SPCA of Texas. "It is hard to see the animals suffer in these conditions, and I'm thankful that we have been able to help them."

SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the Perry Animal Care Center at 8411 Stacy Road in McKinney, TX, where they were examined by medical staff and cared for until today's custody hearing.

To help support the SPCA of Texas and its efforts to help abused, neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, please visit www.spca.org.

The SPCA of Texas is the leading animal welfare agency in North Texas. The non-profit organization operates two shelters and three spay/neuter clinics located in Dallas and McKinney, and maintains a team of five animal cruelty investigators to respond to thousands of calls in eight North Texas counties. Moreover, the SPCA of Texas serves as an active resource center for an array of services that bring people and animals together to enrich each others’ lives. The SPCA of Texas is not affiliated with any other entity and does not receive general operating funds from the City of Dallas, State of Texas, federal government or any other humane organization. The SPCA of Texas is dedicated to providing every animal exceptional care and a loving home.

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Becky Pfeiffer
November 06, 2014
I want to know what happened in today's court hearing regarding the puppy mill dogs seized last week. Judge Laura Norred was to hear the case at 10am today, 11-6-2014. Please let us know.