http://www.dailysentinel.com/search/con ... 81409.html
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Precinct 4 constable officials and officers with the City of Nacogdoches Animal Control unit seized 118 dogs Thursday night from a suspected puppy mill inside Kingtown along County Road 566.
The owner of the backwoods kennel, Lauree Brown, was arrested at the property located about 20 miles outside of Nacogdoches and faces a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals, authorities said. A subsequent seizure warrant was issued for all the animals on the property.
The breeds of the dogs included pit bulls, dachshunds, boxers, bull terriers, chihuahuas and schnauzers. Seven cats, seven rats and two rabbits were also seized. Most of the dogs were chained to the ground and had little food or clean water within reach. Several of the dogs were locked inside hot tin sheds and trailers with no water, and some of the smaller dogs were found inside chain link kennels with up to half a dozen other dogs.
Before she was taken to the county jail, Brown told Daily Sentinel reporters who were on the scene that she had the proper documentation for the dogs, and that those with mange were being treated. Animal control officers and Pct. 4 Constable Jason Bridges, who made the arrest, said Brown did not produce the proper documentation for the animals when they arrived.
"These dogs are my dad's, who's in the hospital dying of heart failure right now, and these dogs are the only thing that's kept me from doing the same, and they want to take them from me," Brown emotionally exclaimed from the back seat of a constable's squad car. "I have never been in trouble, and I have loved dogs since I was a baby. I just don't want somebody thinking that I am sitting here neglecting the animals and abusing them."
Brown defended the operation and claimed that she had taken in some of the dogs from friends who no longer wanted the animals, and that they would have been left for dead without her care.
The unmistakable smell of dog feces permeated throughout the property and into the road where a team of volunteers from area animal advocacy groups assisted the constables and animal control workers in catching and documenting the animals that were to be loaded inside two horse trailers. The dogs have been transferred to the animal shelter in Nacogdoches, and the owner has 10 days to appeal the seizure.
When he arrived on the scene to assist animal control, Bridges said he observed that many of the animals had noticeable ailments and infections.
"We immediately saw animals that had mange, flea infestation and some other things," Bridges said. "Some of them are staying in the trailer houses with no air conditioning, and some are in their own feces. They're just not being taken care of."
Several puppies, some just days old, were pulled from a partially burned out trailer home where only one box fan was being used to ventilate the room in which they were being held. According to animal control workers, a tipster had seen pictures of the animals on an online classified web site and sent the pictures to the local shelter, along with other information that helped authorities locate the property known online as "Swamprat Kennels." A posting on Craigslist.org, the nation's most popular on-line classified advertising site, made on Wednesday, Aug. 12, was headlined, "There has to be something we can do about Swamprat Kennels." The posting, made by an unknown user, decried the operation and listed a phone number for the kennel in question.
The phone number posted on the Craigslist site and another online site, Kijiji.com, where Swamprat Kennels advertises their dogs, belonged to Chris Griffin, who identified himself as Brown's husband and who was present for her arrest. Griffin was cooperative in assisting officers with the search and seizure but maintained that he and his wife had all the proper paperwork for the animals and were not mistreating them. Griffin said he was not arrested because he did not own the property. On Kijiji.com, the prices of the dogs ranged from $35 for a pit bull puppy to $300 for rottweilers.
"There's only a few of them with the hereditary demodectic mange, which we are treating them for. There's one that does have hair loss, but we're treating her for that as well," Griffin said. "Other than that, there's just a couple living in some rough conditions, which we keep that place cleaned every two days. But they said they're taking them all today."
I'd like to tell you it was a happy ending for all the animals, but it's not. Here's an update:
EMERGENCY! There was a seizure of 139 dog in a cruelty case in Nacogdoches, TX a couple of weeks ago. It was over shadowed by the one in Kaufman County of 539 dogs. They are desperate to save the dogs which are ready to be adopted, fostered or transfered to rescue groups. Of course, the little dogs flew out of there, but the bigger ones and the pitties are in need. None of these dogs are old and range from puppies, to young dogs, to no more than 5 years old.
These dogs will sadly be put down if fosters cannot be found--very sad, so let's try to save as many as possible. Volunteers will help with transport and Ann can work with folks on that.
Ann of St. Francis Rescue of Nacogdoches is spearheading the effort to save as many of the bigger dogs as possible. She is an angel to the dogs so let's all try to help her in their time of need!
DIRECT ALL EMAILS AND CALLS TO ANN! Here is her contact information:
rescue cell 936-615-7425
personal cell 936-615-0333
To see the dogs go click on this link and scroll down to the adoptable dogs from the seizure:
The website is http://www.naccares.org/index.html