(SPCA of Texas)
The SPCA of Texas says they are caring for 421 animals rescued during an animal cruelty investigation in Uhland, near Kyle.
The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says they found the animals on Monday after serving the owners a search and seizure warrant.
“We got some complaints of some cruelties, some things they were hearing in the background, even some complaints that animals were being beat.” says Sheriff Daniel Law about the calls his office received, adding, “Our Animal Control Officer found many different levels of animals not being cared for, food, water, different arrays of health.”
Dozens of dead animals, dogs living in cramped cages packed into tight quarters, snakes in plastic bins filed away like office papers, are just some of the horrors the SPCA of Texas says were found when they went into the house on Misty Drive with Sheriff's deputies.
The SPCA of Texas says they are taking care of all of the live animals, many of them, they say have health problems. The SPCA say a custody hearing for the animals is scheduled on Monday in Caldwell County. They say District Judge, the Honorable Chris Schneider will preside.
The owner of the house wouldn’t comment about the case, only telling FOX 7 that his roommate owned most of the animals.
“The biggest issue is the location of our town,” says a resident who lives in the neighborhood, adding, “half the town is in one county and half the town is in another county. Getting any kind of an adequate response to any animal control issue has always been an issue.”
The man who asked to remain anonymous says although it took Animal Control a few weeks to come out, he appreciates their help. “The city has no code enforcement officers,” he says referring to nearby Kyle, adding, “so the city has no teeth to do anything. That's because we are a small town, and don't have the manpower or the money to do it. So it all falls back on the county and the county is stretched thin.”
“The money and coffers are being held by Commissioner's Court, I'm glad the citizens have heard and caught wind of what I've told them” says Sheriff Law. He says he started the Animal Control program when he became Sheriff. “Those two officers answer more calls than any of the other officers that are out,” he says, adding, “it's stacked on top of each other. I don't know how they keep up with it but I am very proud that I've got the two I got, they are very thorough and they do a good job. And they are good with the people.”
He says that even though the area is rapidly growing, they haven’t been given the funding to keep up. However, he says, it doesn’t stop them. “I’m not going to by any means say we are limited to getting the job done,” he says. “We deal with them as they come with the numbers we’ve got. There’s not any out there that we don’t know about because luckily the citizens, we have a good relationship, let us know what's going on.”
Residents in Uhland hope that after Monday's discovery, the Sheriff will get the money he needs to add a few more Animal Control Officers to his team. Until then, “we just try to be neighbors, try to watch out for each other, and hope to the best,” the resident says.
Sheriff Law says the case is still under investigation but he does expect charges to be filed soon.
According to the SPCA, the below is the full list of animals rescued:
• Approximately 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.