The fate of more than 140 animals seized from a property in Fannin County remains unclear this week as a hearing has been set for Friday at 4 p.m. in Bonham.
The SPCA said it was called to the property by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Once there, the SPCA found 117 dogs, 21 puppies and two cats that were being kept inside the house and in a structure outside of the home.
The animals were taken to the SPCA Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center in Dallas.
A statement from the SPCA said the dogs were found in deplorable conditions with health issues including matted fur, fleas, fur loss, dental issues, long nails, ear issues, tumors and more.
Investigators are said to have found more than 30 dogs inside the home and the rest in a structure behind the house
“The structure was infested with roaches, which were found crawling all over the dogs and cats housed there,” the SPCA’s release said. “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.”
The person who owned the animals told the SPCA that the dogs were being sold. The SPCA noted all large-scale animal breeders in Texas are required by law to be licensed and inspected on a regular basis.
“It is unclear at this point if the animal owner is properly licensed,” the SPCA’s release said. “The Texas puppy mill bill, known as the Large-Scale Commercial Dog and Cat Breeder Bill, took effect on September 1, 2012. It provides guidelines for the treatment of animals in large-scale commercial breeding operations in Texas, defined as breeders who keep 11 or more breeding females or sell 20 or more puppies or kittens a year. The law specifies that certain parameters exist for such animals, including feeding, space, shelter, ventilation and medical care, and is administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.”
DPS would not comment about what kind of investigation brought its staff to the home.