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Authorities seize 87 animals from property near Greenville

Most of the 87 animals seized were dogs in states of illness or neglect.
SPCA of Texas
Most of the 87 animals seized were dogs in states of illness or neglect.

The Hunt County Sheriff's Office plans to file criminal charges.

Law enforcement officials raided a residential property north of Greenville Sunday morning and found more than 80 animals, mostly dogs, in states of illness and neglect.

A release from the SPCA of Texas said investigators from the agency, working with and led by the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, raided a property in Hunt County on the morning of Jan. 9. The Greenville Herald-Banner reported the property was in the 3200 block of County Road 4031, just north of Greenville.

Officials found 73 dogs, 11 cats and three dead puppies at the property.

“The animals appeared to be suffering from various health conditions, including eye issues, ear issues, hair loss and overgrown nails, and several appeared to be underweight,” the release said.

“A dozen dogs were found living outdoors on the property without adequate access to food, water or shelter,” the statement said. “A few dogs were confined to pens, and others roamed the property freely. Inside a home on the property, approximately 60 dogs and 11 cats were found living in feces, urine and other debris. A mother dog and her puppies were found inside of a cardboard box, and additional neonatal puppies were found in another box. An injured cat was found underneath a couch, and a single neonatal kitten was found inside of a box on a stove. Three deceased puppies were found in an abandoned trailer on the property.”

Investigators recorded the ammonia level inside the home to be 134 parts per million (ppm), the release said. Short-term exposure to any ammonia level over 20 ppm or long-term exposure to any level over 12 ppm can cause health problems in humans, the statement said.

The Hunt County Sheriff's Office referred a complaint of animal cruelty to SPCA investigators, who visited the property on Jan. 7, the release said. Once there, investigators saw and tried to help a dog whose injuries suffered during an attack by another dog proved to be fatal, the release said.

“Upon arriving at the property, investigators observed a dog being attacked by another dog in its enclosure,” the statement said. “Due to the exigent circumstances of the extent of the dog’s injuries, it was seized without a warrant. The dog was rushed to an emergency veterinarian where it succumbed to its injuries. At that point, the SPCA of Texas' investigators worked with the Hunt County Sheriff's Office to obtain a warrant to remove the remaining animals. The warrant was obtained on Friday, January 7, and was served Sunday, January 9. Criminal charges expect to be filed in this case.”

The animals are being cared for by the SPCA of Texas pending a civil custody hearing scheduled for Friday, January 14 at 10:30 a.m. at the Hunt County Precinct 1, Place 2 Justice of the Peace Courthouse located at 2801 Stuart St., Greenville, TX, 75401, the Honorable Judge Sheila Linden presiding.

The SPCA of Texas has made photos and videos of the animals on scene and at the SPCA of Texas’ Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center available at https://bit.ly/3Gb0cpd.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.