Because of reported cruel confinement and neglect of animals, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office and the SPCA of Texas seized and took custody of five dogs, two cats and one bearded dragon from a residence in Whitewright Thursday afternoon.
The sheriff’s office and SPCA obtained a warrant Thursday and served it at about 2 p.m. at a house in the 500 block of South Bond Street in Whitewright. Maura Davies, SPCA of Texas vice president for communications, said the animals were taken to the SPCA of Texas Animal Rescue Center in Dallas to be rehabilitated.
“The animals’ conditions were not good,” Davies said. “The house was filled with debris, feces and urine. The animals were flea infested, the animals were covered in feces and urine, and a lot of them had matted fur.”
The SPCA of Texas was notified of the animals on Aug. 3 after a Whitewright Animal Control officer visited the property in reference to a dog bite report. Davies said the officer smelled a strong odor of urine and feces from the residence, and the officer called the SPCA of Texas to investigate. GCSO Sgt. Nikki McDonald noted the SPCA of Texas investigator is also a sheriff’s deputy.
The investigator visited the property on the same day, and Davies said they were able to make contact with the owner. They talked with the owner inside the home, but Davies said the owner then left, which ended the conversation.
“So we tried to get in touch with the animal owner after that,” Davies said. “And we were able to go back out to the property on Aug. 8 and left a door tag. There was no answer at the door, and the owner called us back the next day, Aug. 9.”
When they spoke with the owners again, Davies said they did not indicate that they would work to improve the conditions of the animals. So the next day, the sheriff’s office and the SPCA obtained the warrant. Davies noted that there were also children on the property, and Texas Child Protective Services was notified and is involved in the case.
A custody hearing for the animals was set for 10 a.m. Wednesday in front of Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Larry Atherton. Should the SPCA of Texas be granted custody, Davies said the animals will be rehabilitated and hopefully be put up for adoption.
“SPCA of Texas hopes to gain custody of the animals at the end of this process,” Davies said. “Should we gain custody, we would continue providing them with care with the goal of rehabilitating them and hopefully placing them up for adoption in the coming weeks.”
Davies said animal cruelty charges could be pending against the owners.