Animal Abandonment: Longview Case 'Serious' Animal Hoarding

One of the animals rescued from a Longview home has now died.

In all, 20 dogs and one cat, considered neglected and flea infested, were rescued from a Longview home on the 300 block of Glenn Street earlier this week. Officials are calling it a 'serious' case of animal hoarding.

KLTV 7 News has the details of the rescue, and what's going to happen to these animals now.

Neighbors say at the home in Longview, they heard dogs barking at all hours - and then there was the smell.

Denise Marshall, a neighbor, says, "[I've] been noticing it for about two months, and the hotter it gets the more it smells. And...the odor is unbearable, and when they opened that door yesterday...whew!"

It was bad enough to register a complaint, and when animal control officers showed up at the south Longview home, they discovered why.

Jeff Heinicke, Longview's Environmental Health Manager, said, "There was a concern at this residence and we went to the court and got a warrant and pulled out 20 animals."

Roxanne Hutson, with the Humane Society of Northeast Texas, said the animals were living in filthy conditions.

"They were in pretty poor condition, malnourished, flea infested, one of the worst cases of flea infestation we have seen, to a point where they have lost at least half of their hair."

They were taken to the Humane Society of Northeast Texas.

The dogs are all small breeds, and many are suffering severe hair loss.

Animal control officers and Humane society workers say it's nothing new.

"Probably one of the aspects of this case, is that this lady is a repeat offender and we've had to deal with her in the past. Animal control has taken animals from her in the past."

Shelter workers are hoping justice will be done for the animals' behalf.

"We're really hoping that a judge will prohibit her from owning any animals in the future....When somebody keeps animals in this kind of condition there's no excuse for that," says Roxanne.

Charges from the Gregg County District Attorney's office are expected to be filed on the owner within days.

As far as what will happen to the dogs, the humane society is asking that the public not call them regarding these animals. They are in legal hold, and are not available for adoption at this time.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.