Weatherford Democrat

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January 22, 2014

Humane Society given custody of seized dogs

Garner kennel owners decline to appear at JP court property hearing

(Continued)

Anderson said he could hear other dogs behind the house and saw 15 of them running loose inside. Feces and urine coated the floor.

“Is this the way a hoarder’s house looks?” Barker asked.

“Yes, sir,” Anderson responded.

The next day, Anderson said, he and supervisor Karen Kessler returned to the home and met with Roger Williams, who blamed the filthy conditions on his 20-year-old and 15-year-old sons, who had been tasked to do some cleaning while he and his wife were away for the weekend.

“My opinion is that it hadn’t been cleaned in a long time,” Anderson said. “We discussed with him that he had way too many dogs.”

Anderson said Williams showed him an expired breeder’s license.

“He claimed he was breeding Danes and Shepherds and said the others were ‘rescued,’” he said.

The third day, when he and Kessler returned with a seizure warrant and Humane Society staff, they discovered that about 120 dogs were missing. The remaining 33 animals — old, infirm, and some pregnant — were seized.

Four or five of the animals are in such bad condition that they may have to be euthanized after the appeals process is over, according to Tammy Roberts, of the Humane Society. One of them gave birth to puppies yesterday.

“Many are adoptable, many have severe medical conditions,” Roberts testified. “Several conditions stem from neglect, some from poor breeding.

One has leg issues due to injuries. There is a bulldog in horrific condition.”

Kessler said no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

“This division’s job is to control and protect the animals,” Barker explained. “The criminal division will look at it and see if they can make a case, but on a neglect case, it’s iffy. A lot of people involved with this have serious mental issues.”

Barker said he doubts a civil appeal will be made.

“We’ve only had two appeals in the last 13 years,” he said. “They must post a bond, and most do not.”

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