Dozens of animals were seized from a Fannin County property and a number of goats were found dead Tuesday after authorities discovered the animals were lacking proper care.


The Fannin County Sheriff’s Office and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas took into custody 49 animals, 36 sheep and 13 goats, from a 13-acre property outside Leonard. Authorities found the animals in poor condition, and they did not have proper access to food, water or veterinary care, SPCA of Texas Vice President for Communications Maura Davies said.


“The animals are suffering from various issues — some of those issues were ear discharge, eye discharge,” Davies said. “Some had obvious signs of having diarrhea, some had overgrown hoofs, and there were a few that had injuries.”


Davies said one animal had an injury to its ear, which appeared as if a tag had been ripped off the ear. Most of the animals were emaciated, which Davies noted was difficult to see on the sheep because of their fleece. But after they placed their hands on the animals, the signs were obvious, she said.


Fannin County Sheriff’s Lt. Nick Tredway said the landlord of the property contacted the sheriff’s office about the conditions of the animals, and the sheriff’s office and SPCA of Texas officials visited the property on Jan. 5. Tredway said at that first visit they saw the animals were not fed properly, and they discovered one dead animal. An SPCA of Texas news release notes the two agencies agreed after that visit that it was in the animals’ best interest to remove the animals from the property.


On Monday, the sheriff’s office obtained a seizure warrant that was executed the next day, Tredway said. As the authorities responded to the property on FM 272, the owner of the animals voluntarily signed the custody of the animals over to SPCA of Texas, Tredway said. The SPCA of Texas release noted that the owner is facing possible criminal charges.


Davies said one goat was euthanize at the site due to its health, and the release stated that more than 40 goats were found dead on the property. Davies said there was little to no grass on the property, and there was some hay, but it appeared to be moldy.


“Regardless, there was not proper food for the animals,” Davies said. “There was not proper water, and the animals were suffering from lack of veterinary care.”


The 49 animals were taken to the SPCA of Texas Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, which Davies said is a 32-acre property that has a shelter and clinic.


“The majority of property is devoted to land suitable for livestock,” Davies said.


After the animals are treated and recovered, they will be placed up for adoption. Davies said it’s their hope the recovery process will be quick, and the animal become up for adoption in the next few weeks.


“I heard they were settling in and beyond that it will take a little bit for them to fully recover from what they’ve been through,” Davies said. “That may be weeks for them. Of course our goal is to get them to a state where they are healthy enough to be put up for adoption.”