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Last updateFri, 28 Nov 2014 3pm

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SPCA of Texas Awarded Custody of 71 Cruelly Treated Animals Seized from Upshur County Property

On Friday at the Upshur County Courthouse in Gilmer, Judge W.V. Ray awarded custody of 71 cruelly treated animals seized from property n the Union Grove are ito the SPCA of Texas. The SPCA of Texas was awarded $19,038.90 in restitution. However, the SPCA of Texas does not actually expect to receive any of this money to help offset costs. Additionally, the Upshur County Constable was awarded $1,755.45 in restitution. If the animal owner does not file an appeal in the next ten days, the SPCA of Texas will at that time individually evaluate the animals for adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

On May 8, under the authority of the Upshur County Constable, Pct. 1, the SPCA of Texas seized and took custody of 71 cruelly treated animals--64 dogs, six cats and one horse--from a property near Gladewater, Texas.

Most of the dogs were found living in trash-filled residence on the property in rows of plastic, metal and wooden crates. Approximately 20 dogs were found inside fenced-in kennels behind the building. Nine of the dogs were tethered outside. Various breeds found include Great Pyrenees mixes, Hound Mixes, Miniature Pinschers, Red Heelers and other mixed breeds. The dogs appeared to have various health issues, including hair loss, tumors, labored breathing, eye issues, skin isues, matted fur, one dog had a distended abdomen and one dog had an injured tail.

Most of the cats were kept in carriers inside the residence on the property. One cat was found in a metal cage. Many of the cats have matted fur.

The horse was living outside in a pasture, is very underweight and has a dull coat.

The Upshur County Constable, Pct. 1, contacted the SPCA of Texas regarding concerns of animal cruelty on May 7 in reference to a puppy mill case. An SPCA of Texas Investigator visited the property that day, and the SPCA of Texas and the Upshur County Constable determined that the animals were being cruelly treated. The Upshur County Constable and the SPCA of Texas concurred that it was in the animals' best interest to remove the animals, and the Upshur County Constable sought a seizure warrant.

"Thanks to the excellent work of several entities, led by Upshur County Constable, Pct. 1, Gene Dolle, the animals have been receiving the care they needed since last week's seizure," said Colby Grady, Chief Investigator for the SPCA of Texas. "It is hard to see the animals suffer in these conditions, and I'm thankful that we have been able to help them."

SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the Perry Animal Care Center at 8411 Stacy Road in McKinney, TX, where they were examined by medical staff and cared for until today's custody hearing