Athens Review, Athens, Texas

December 18, 2012

Warrant issued to seize dogs

From Staff Reports
The Athens Review

Athens — The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, aided by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas and other agencies, executed a warrant Monday on a Lake Athens residence, where more than 100 dogs were being hoarded.

Sheriff Ray Nutt said authorities seized 83 adult dogs, 22 puppies and one deceased dog. The bodies of seven other deceased dogs were also found on the property at  2523 Lake Pointe.

According to police reports, the HCSO contacted the SPCA on Dec. 12 for support of an ongoing investigation. Joint efforts of Henderson County Attorney’s Office, Henderson County Adult Probation Office, HCSO and SPCA of Texas, led the HCSO Animal Control Deputy to obtain a search warrant and animal seizure order on Monday.  They found the animals living in horrendous conditions.

According to a statement issued by Nutt:

“The dogs were cruelly confined, were not receiving adequate care and were forced to live in their own filth inside a feces-filled, urine-soaked home on the property. Most of the dogs are suffering from eye discharge, flea infestation, long nails, severely matted fur and skin conditions. Approximately 60 of the dogs were confined to crates, and some crates included up to seven dogs.”

Nutt reported that the stench of ammonia was so intense that investigators wore personal protective equipment, including breathing instruments while inside the home.

The SPCA of Texas measured the ammonia level in the residence to be 67 parts per million. 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 SPCA removed the animals and transported them to the SPCA of Texas' Perry Animal Care Center in McKinney, where they’ll be held until a custody hearing later this week.

The custody hearing will be Friday, 10:30 a.m., at the Henderson County Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Kelly Harris Courthouse on Farm-to-Market Road 315 in Poynor.