SPCA seize 61 dogs from suspected puppy mill - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

SPCA seize 61 dogs from suspected puppy mill

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Nearly 70 dogs are safe after they were taken from a suspected puppy mill Thursday morning.

Authorities seized the small breed dogs from a home in the 1300 block of Ronald Circle in Smith County. SPCA officials say they've had their eyes on the person they say owns the dogs since 2005.

"O-M-G. How? Oh my gosh. I have no words. I mean and the house isn't even that big. Where were all the dogs kept?" said Renay Johnson, neighbor.

Johnson watched as authorities carried out dozens of dogs from her neighbor's home. Authorities say the dogs were medically neglected and living in filthy conditions. The smell was so unbearable, rescuers wore masks.

"Feces everywhere...on the walls, on the kitchen appliances," said Deborah Dobbs, SPCA of East Texas President. "These animals were running all over the house and they're sick. They have infections, they have ear infections, parasites."

For years, neighbor Rosalind Garrett says she's complained of the smell seeping into her neighborhood. She says the constant barking would go well into the night.

"She would put them out at two or three in the morning and you could hear dogs barking until she get ready to put them back in," said Garrett.

The homeowner says his wife is a responsible breeder. "I have nothing to hide," said Refugio Silva, homeowner. "The SPCA came and took our healthy dogs as you will find out.

Dobbs says that's not true. "We've down our homework. This was not a quick thing. It took months," she said.

She says the dogs owner was planning to sell some of them in Canton this weekend.

"I've been there. I've documented her there selling. She's well known amongst the people in dog alley. A number of the millers we've identified are in canton, but they live here," said Dobbs.

Next week a court hearing will determine who gets custody of these dogs.

"I'm hoping like I said that we can get them all back and resume with our life," said Silva.

Something investigators will fight to keep from happening. The SPCA of East Texas asked a Dallas crew to help them seize the dogs. Right now, the dogs are receiving medical treatment near Dallas.

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