published Saturday, January 18th, 2014

35 animals seized from squalid North Texas property

FORT WORTH, Texas — More than two dozen dogs and other animals have been seized from a property in North Texas after being found with afflictions including intestinal parasites, untreated wounds, malnourishment and dehydration.

Staff members at the Humane Society of North Texas told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a report published Friday that the property in northwest Parker County appeared to have been a puppy mill.

"There are a lot of upper-respiratory issues and horrific parasites, internal and external," said Tammy Roberts, the Humane Society's interim director. "Many dogs definitely are pregnant, but they're senior dogs and should not be pregnant," she added.

Dr. Cynthia Jones, a veterinarian who works with the Humane Society, said it is unhealthy to constantly breed older dogs.

Roberts said an English bulldog appears to have been bred repeatedly and suffers from such serious hip and joint issues that she can barely stand.

Parker County Sheriff's Office Deputy Danie Huffman said animal control officers got a tip Monday about the property. She said animal control officers then checked the property and found about 150 animals.

She said that when officials returned Tuesday with the Humane Society to perform the seizure, many of the animals were no longer on the property.

Roberts said Humane Society workers found 35 animals -- 29 dogs, a cat, three rats and two rabbits. Roberts said they're trying to locate the other animals.

"Animals were removed by large amounts overnight," Roberts said.

Huffman told The Associated Press that the case remains open and there are currently no charges.

The Humane Society is caring for the animals at its shelter in Fort Worth. Humane Society officials hope that most of the animals can be nursed back to health and placed for adoption, but first officials will have to go before a judge to win custody.

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