UHLAND, Texas (KXAN) — Unhealthy living conditions prompted Caldwell County Sheriffs to remove more than 400 live animals from a property in Uhland on Feb. 20.
With the help of the SPCA, deputies conducted a search warrant at the home on Misty Drive and discovered the animals living primarily in a house on the property with a lack of care from the owners. Numerous animals were found dead along with 421 live animals.
Sheriff Daniel Law says it’s one of the worst cases he’s seen in over 20 years in law enforcement.
“Our animal control officer found many different levels of what we would call cruelty to animals. Not being cared for, food, water, different arrays of health,” said Sheriff Law. “And decided the quickest thing we could is go ahead and file for search and seizure of those animals so we can start caring for them first. It’s bad.”
Neighbors tell KXAN it’s been an ongoing issue for months, and they’re relieved authorities stepped in to remove the animals.
Animals taken from the property include:
- 150 feeder mice and rats
- 86 snakes
- 56 guinea pigs
- 28 dogs
- 26 rabbits
- 15 goats
- 9 doves
- 8 skinks
- 7 ferrets
- 7 pigs
- 6 pigeons
- 4 geckos/lizards
- 4 gerbils
- 4 turtles
- 3 bearded dragons
- 2 ducks
- 2 miniature pigs
- 2 tortoises
- 1 tarantula
- 1 turkey
The SPCA said the living animals were found housed in small, feces-filled cages or roaming in a bedroom. The snakes were living in a closet and bathroom. A dog was living in a guinea pig enclosure. The reptiles did not have appropriate food or heat lamps. All of the rabbits, goats and pigs were living in the yard or in a shed with homemade enclosures.
Officials said the ammonia levels in the home due to urine were overpowering at 29 parts per million. Any range over 12 ppm can cause health issues in humans.
The SPCA said many of the animals have health issues, namely malnutrition, eye issues and long nails. One dog has issues with both of its eyes.
Until new homes are found for the animals, the Dallas SPCA will take care of them.
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the pet owners. They are expected at a custody hearing to be held on Monday, Feb. 27.
If you need to report illegal activity in your neighborhood you can call the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at (512) 398-6777.