Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Humane Society seizes nearly 500 dogs in Montague County


Authorities on Tuesday seized about 500 dogs housed in wire crates and pens in Montague County, according to the Humane Society of North Texas.

The Montague County Sheriff’s Department served warrants Tuesday morning on about 1,200 acres of private property near Bowie after complaints about the animals’ living conditions and veterinary care, said Sandy Grambort, a supervisor with the Humane Society.

The property owners have for years sold puppies to the public on the Internet and through newspaper ads, Grambort said. The Humane Society has received “complaints on a regular basis.”

“Some complaints date back 10 years,” she said. “We have been unable to verify those complaints in the past and that’s why no action was taken until this point.”

As of noon, the Humane Society officials had counted 496 dogs, she said. “There are at least 25 different breeds on site,” she said. “We have seen primarily small breeds, but some large breeds, too.”

The property owners were apparently large-scale breeders, she said. Wire crates were double stacked in a series of outbuildings. Dogs were also kept in outdoor pens and kennels.
Two dogs were taken to a local veterinarian for “critical care,” she said.

“Some animals had sores and open wounds,” she said. “Some had skin conditions that needed to be diagnosed and treated.”

An official with the Montague County Sheriff’s Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

It was one of the agency’s larger dog seizures, Grambort said, A typical seizure involves 150 to 300 animals. Because of the scale, Chesapeake Energy donated use of a 4,000-square-foot warehouse in the Fort Worth stockyards to temporarily house the animals.

Company vendors spent the holiday weekend connecting plumbing, electricity and air conditioning to the warehouse, as well as mowing and trimming the lawn in anticipation of the animals’ arrival, according to a Chesapeake press statement. PetSmart Charities donated several hundred dog crates, dog food and water bowls.

Volunteers with United Animal Nations will help care for the dogs..." More