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Officials Seize 72 Dogs in Van Zandt County

SPCA of Texas
SPCA of Texas
One of the dogs taken from a property near Canton Tuesday.

The SPCA of Texas says 72 dogs were taken from an alleged puppy mill near Canton Tuesday. That number includes 12 dogs that were dead on the property.

The animal owners reportedly let investigators know that they were selling the dogs for profit.

“Many of the dogs and puppies were found in living in feces-filled wire crates with no access to food or water,” the SPCA said in a statement. “In one room, several nursing mothers with litters of puppies were found confined in small, plastic and wire crates in a closet.”

The SPCA says other dogs roamed the urine-soaked, feces-filled house with little to no access food or water. The twelve deceased animals, including one adult dog and eleven puppies. They were found individually wrapped in plastic bags in the kitchen freezer.

The ammonia level in the residence was reportedly 22 parts per million (ppm). As a point of reference, 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 animals appeared to suffer from various health issues, including fur loss, long nails, eye issues, ear issues, and matted fur, the SPCA stated.

The seizure was conducted with the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office and the Van Zandt County Constable, Pct. 2. The dogs were taken to the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas, where they will examined by medical staff and cared for until a custody hearing takes place.

The SPCA did not say whether criminal charges would be brought about.

The hearing is scheduled for Friday, March 23 at 10 a.m. at the Van Zandt County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 Courthouse at 250 E. Grove St., Canton.

Scott Morgan has been an award-winning journalist since 2001. His work has appeared in several newspapers and magazines as well as online. He has also been an editor, freelancer, speaker, writing teacher, author, and podcaster.