The number of animals removed from a property east of Sanger has reached 173, an increase from the 165 taken during a search-and-seizure operation last Wednesday.
The Denton County Sheriff’s Office and the Humane Society of North Texas are conducting ongoing investigations into the incident in which, according to sheriff’s deputies, multiple types of animals were found in deplorable living conditions.
Guinea pigs, cats, chickens, rabbits, goats, donkeys, doves, ducks, geese, an emu and more are being housed by Humane Society of North Texas until the custody hearing scheduled for Nov. 19.
“Discovering many different species, especially in pairs like this, signals a suspected breeding situation,” said Shelly Meeks, lead investigator at the Humane Society of North Texas. “Animal feces and carcasses were everywhere and there was inadequate food and water supplied.”
Some of these species are not seen as frequently at the Humane Society of North Texas, while some will be added to groups already representing large numbers, according to a news release.
For instance, humane society officials are eager to help the donkeys find new owners as soon as possible since they already have a large number of donkeys in their program now, Meeks said.
The Humane Society of North Texas is accepting advance applications for the animals now, but anyone interested will have to wait until official custody is awarded at the hearing before any applications can be processed.
The owner has 10 days to appeal if custody is awarded to Humane Society of North Texas, with an additional 15 days allowed for filing and processing. The total process from beginning to end can sometimes take 35 days, Meeks said.
No arrests or charges have been filed in connection with the animal seizure, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Last month, two other high-profile animal negligence cases occurred in Denton County.
In the first week of October, 51 Maltese-mix dogs were left abandoned on Stonecrest Road near Flower Mound and, a day later, about 40 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were dumped in the 3800 block of Lois Road in Sanger.
The Humane Society of Flower Mound and the Humane Society of North Texas assisted in the previous cases last month.
Many of the dogs have been adopted, but many others remain in various stages of rehabilitation in foster homes, officials said.
The Humane Society of North Texas would appreciate any donation of hay or money to purchase animal feed. Contact the organization at 817-332-4768, ext. 113, to help the recently acquired animals, Meeks said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .