Nearly 40 Dogs Rescued From a Texas Property in Allegedly 'Hazardous' and 'Neglectful' Conditions, Police

Neglected dogs are seen in a cage during an animal rescue by the HSUS on Jan. 21, 2022.
Gareth Patterson/AP images for The HSUS

“I think they just kind of got in over their head and didn’t know who to ask for help," Smith County Pct. 4 Constable Josh Joplin said to local news outlet.

Nearly 40 dogs were rescued by multiple animal rescue agencies after they were found in allegedly neglectful and hazardous conditions at a residential property in Smith County Texas, according to published news reports.

Smith County officials contacted The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) after they shared concerns about the welfare of the animals on the property, according to the agency’s press release.

When local authorities served a search and seizure warrant on the property on Friday, they found dogs “inside chain-link kennels with their water bowls frozen over,” the HSUS said in a statement.

”The living conditions were hazardous, with corrugated metal collapsing into some of the cages,” the HSUS said.  “Some of the dogs appeared to be fearful, while others were eager for attention and appeared excited to greet the rescuers.”

A suspect, whose name was not released, surrendered the dogs over to the authorities, according to the Humane Society. It is unclear if anyone is facing charges, KWTX News reported

Smith County Pct. 4 Constable Josh Joplin said this has been an ongoing investigation for the past three weeks. He said the property owner told him they had tried to form a rescue, but it got out of control, the news outlet reported.

“I believe that those rescue efforts kind of became more of a hobby than it was a rescue, and it went from a hobby to a hoarder situation,” Joplin told KLTV News. “I think they just kind of got in over their head and didn’t know who to ask for help.”

Additional agencies that helped in the rescue included the SPCA of East Texas Animal Investigations and Response, and volunteers from the RedRover responder.

All the dogs have been transported to a temporary shelter, where they are being examined and cared for by licensed veterinarians.

Joplin said “we won't tolerate animal cruelty in our community,” according to the press release.

Earlier this month, 10 additional dogs that needed emergency care had been removed from the same property by the SCPA of East Texas. The dogs that were retrieved on Friday were transported to the same temporary shelter.

The silver lining is that most of the dogs will eventually be available and ready for adoption, the agency said. Those interested in learning more about the rescue effort can contact The Humane Society of the United States.

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