The Texas SPCA and Hunt County Constable Terry Jones removed approximately 200 animals from the Frank Barchard Memorial Shelter in Wolfe City Wednesday morning, alleging poor housing conditions, sick animals and contaminated water.
“Many of the dogs are being cruelly confined in kennels and pens outdoors and inside a building on the property and many of the animals appear to be suffering from open wounds, eye discharge and other issues,” the SPCA said in a press release. “The water provided to many of the animals appears to be contaminated.”
The seizure follows a visit by investigators last week as part of an ongoing investigation, according to the SPCA.
“On July 16, investigators from the SPCA of Texas and the Hunt County Constable visited the property to conduct an inspection as a part of an ongoing investigation spanning almost one year,” the release read. “The SPCA of Texas’ Investigator and the Hunt County Constable and found the animals to be cruelly confined and medically neglected and determined that it was in the animals’ best interest to obtain a warrant and remove the animals immediately.”
Jones served the warrant around noon on Wednesday and the SPCA returned to a McKinney shelter with the animals after 5 p.m., according SPCA spokesperson Maura Davies said
“SPCA of Texas vehicles will transport the animals to the Perry Animal Care Center at 8411 Stacy Road in McKinney, where they will be examined by medical staff and cared for until a custody hearing is held,” the release read. “If the SPCA of Texas is awarded custody of the animals, they would be individually evaluated for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis.”
Frank Barchard Memorial Animal Shelter President Jody McIntier said the shelter will fight to get the animals back.
“The SPCA showed up last week because of an issue with our veterinarian [Dr. Adam Whitson],” she said. “That’s what spurred all this. I have talked to our attorney, and we’ll be going to court to get our dogs back.”
McIntier said that the shelter gets cleaned every day.
“This place gets cleaned from stem to stern every day,” she said. “You go into any shelter, you’re going to see dog poo. The day they came out here they came before our pooper-scooper had gotten out, but everybody’s water gets emptied every day and re-filled.”
McIntier said that Whitson was contracted by the shelter but quit following the SPCA visit on July 16.
Davies said that owners who had adopted animals from the shelter should do what any new pet owner should do: take their pet to a local veterinarian.
“No matter what’s happened, it’s always great to take your new pet to a veterinarian,” she said. “As an organization, we think it’s a great idea to get your pet started with a veterinarian.”
The custody hearing will be held July 31 at 2 p.m. located at the Hunt County Justice Center at 2801 Stuart Street in Greenville with Judge Sheila Linden presiding.