The SPCA of Texas, responding to a complaint of suspected animal cruelty, took custody of 37 dogs from a suspected puppy mill near Gilmer, Texas, about 125 miles east of Dallas. Additionally, three deceased puppies were found stuffed inside dog food bags. One deceased puppy was decapitated; the head was not found.
Eighteen animals were discovered living inside a single-wide trailer home on the property. Some of the dogs were confined to wire crates; others were loose in the trailer. Four puppies were living in a feces- and urine-filled bathtub. A Cocker Spaniel was found inside a closet, and one Shih Tzu with extreme hair loss and severe eye issues was found in a back room.
Nineteen dogs were found inside a feces-filled, urine-soaked shed with access to six attached, fenced-in, feces-filled runs.
Breeds include Cane Corso, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Shih Tzu and Cocker Spaniel, as well as shepherd mixes and Border Collie mixes. The dogs appear to be suffering from various health problems, including hair loss, eye issues, external parasites and long nails. Many are underweight.
The SPCA first received a complaint of suspected animal cruelty in late September. After investigation, the organization and the Upshur County constable determined the animals were being treated cruelly and that it was in the animals' best interest to remove them. The constable then sought a seizure warrant.
The SPCA transported the animals to the Perry Animal Care Center at 8411 Stacy Rd. in McKinney, where they are being examined by medical staff and will be cared for until the custody hearing.
The hearing will take place at 10 am on November 6, at 301 E. Butler St. in Gilmer, with judge Laura Norred presiding. If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody, the animals will be individually evaluated for potential adoption or placement on a case-by-case basis.