Weatherford Democrat

Local News

May 11, 2012

58 dogs seized from home near Springtown

PARKER COUNTY — Fifty-eight dogs, including two later euthanized, were seized Wednesday afternoon from a Springtown-area home where a 1-year-old boy was found in a crib surrounded by animal feces.

Officers made one arrest on an outstanding warrant at the scene and additional charges, including animal cruelty charges and child endangerment charges, are pending, according to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.

Responding to a complaint about the living conditions, animal control officers conducted a welfare check Wednesday afternoon at a residence in the 900 block of Lynch Bend Road and found the dogs living in an unhealthy and unsanitary environment, according to the sheriff’s office.

“A total of 58 dogs were seized,” Parker County Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler said. “Their health and living conditions were in various stages.”

Thirty-one of the dogs were living in their own feces and urine in crates, some stacked on each other, in the house, lead sheriff’s office investigator John Qualls reported.

“The conditions were so poor that it created a serious health hazard for the occupants as well,” Qualls said. “There was an overwhelming foul odor of dog feces which was detectable from outside the residence. It was extremely unhealthy for both humans and animals.”

The dogs inside the house were found without food or water, though some animals outside had food and water provided.

However, several outdoor pens containing puppies were filled with animal feces, urine and vomit.

One photo taken by the sheriff’s office shows many flies sitting on a puppy outside.

Kessler described the property as “the worst level of unsanitary conditions.”

A seizure warrant was immediately obtained from Judge Kelly Green and the dogs transported to the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter, according to the sheriff’s office.

A local veterinarian assessed the animals there, finding their conditions ranged from poor to extreme, some with parasites, worms and fleas, according to the sheriff’s office.

A puppy and an adult pit bull mix breed dog were euthanized due to severe neglect and health conditions, according to the sheriff’s office.

Kessler reported that a majority of the animals were listed in fair condition, a few in good condition and at least 15 puppies considered in poor condition.

Teresa Weldon, the property owner, was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Tarrant County on a theft of property by check charge. Weldon, who remained in the Parker County Jail Thursday evening, faces multiple pending charges of animal cruelty, according to the sheriff’s office.

Weldon was allowed to adopt animals from an out-of-county animal shelter in the Metroplex without a proper background check, the sheriff’s office reported.

“That is totally unacceptable and very disheartening,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said.

It wasn’t clear which animal shelter the dogs were adopted from.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Deputy Danie Huffman said the investigation was ongoing.

The county responded to five animal calls at the residence since July of 2011, though no reports were made, Huffman said.

The Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter did not return several calls Thursday seeking comment on local adoption policy.

There were four adults living in the home, according to Huffman.

“A child endangerment case is being investigated, with pending charges for additional individuals living inside the residence,” Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Lt. Mark Arnett said, “Child Protective Services was notified immediately for obvious poor environmental conditions which was alarmingly unhealthy for the child. CPS ruled the scene as unsuitable.”

The child is with his mother under the condition that the child is not returned to the home, according to Huffman.

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