Sheriff: One arrested, one at-large after deputies find starving - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Sheriff: One arrested, one at-large after deputies find starving dogs

Stephanie Smith (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office) Stephanie Smith (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office)
Michael Mathis (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office) Michael Mathis (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office)
Deputies say there was no evidences to indicate the dogs had been properly cared for in weeks. (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office) Deputies say there was no evidences to indicate the dogs had been properly cared for in weeks. (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office)
Deputies say when they arrived, they found three adult dogs and several puppies who looked to be in extreme stages of malnourishment. (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office) Deputies say when they arrived, they found three adult dogs and several puppies who looked to be in extreme stages of malnourishment. (Source: Titus County Sheriff's Office)
TITUS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

One person is in jail and police are searching for another after police say they found several dogs that were extremely malnourished in Titus County.

On Tuesday, Titus County deputies traveled to the 800 block of County Road 1925 after a tip about starving dogs being kept on the property. Deputies say when they arrived, they found three adult dogs and several puppies who looked to be in extreme stages of malnourishment. 

"From the county road, you could see one dog who displayed an extensively protruding rib-cage and a waist diameter that was shrunken to less than one half of what would be observed on a normal dog of that physical size," read the police report. "The dog was chained in a bare area of the driveway where there did not exist any source of water or food."

Police say another dog was found on the property that was also on a chain. This dog was severely malnourished and dehydrated. Deputies say there was an adult dog with puppies, all showing signs of malnourishment. Police say these dogs appeared in better shape than the two dogs on the chain because they were likely able to forage for food and water.

Deputies say there was no evidence to indicate the dogs had been properly cared for in weeks. 

"Based on visual observations and the seriously advanced stages of dehydration and starvation of several of the animals present, the situation was deemed exigent and emergency steps to seize the animals were undertaken for the purpose of initiating life sustaining help for the animals and to mitigate the animals suffering.

"The investigation found that Michael Wayne Mathis and Stephanie Shannon Smith were the responsible parties to these animals," said the report.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of Michael Wayne Mathis and Stephanie Shannon Smith for cruelty to a non-livestock animal. Smith was located and arrested for the warrants on Wednesday, but the sheriff’s office is still searching for Mathis.

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