MAY 10, 2012.
Parker County Sheriff’s Animal Control and Criminal Investigations Divisions are investigation a cruelty to animals case, where 58 dogs were seized Wednesday afternoon, May 9, 2012.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said a concerned citizen reported the poor environment and health conditions, which led to the investigation in the 900 block of Lynch Bend Road in Parker County.
Parker County Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler, said animal control officers conducted an animal welfare check Wednesday at the residence and discovered unhealthy and unsanitary living conditions.
“A total of 58 dogs were seized,” Kessler said. “Their health and living conditions were in various stages.”
She added very few of the dogs were found in good condition. A majority of the adult dogs are currently listed in fair condition with at least 15 puppies considered in poor health.
Property owner Teresa Weldon was arrested at the scene on an outstanding warrant out of Tarrant County for theft of property by check. Weldon also faces multiple pending charges of animal cruelty.
Kessler said several outdoor pens containing puppies were filled with animal feces, urine and vomit.
“Although food and water were present on the property for some of the animals, others were without food and water,” Kessler said.
Sheriff Fowler said the dogs were transported to the Weatherford-Parker County Animal Shelter and a local veterinarian assessed them, finding their conditions ranging from poor to extreme with parasites, worms and fleas.
Sheriff’s Lead Investigator John Qualls said 31 dogs were living in crates inside the residence in their own urine and feces. Some of the crates were stacked on top of each other. The dogs inside the home were also found without food and water.
“The conditions were so poor that it created a serious health hazard for the occupants as well,” Qualls said. “There was an overwhelming foul odor of dog feces which was detectable from outside the residence. It was extremely unhealthy for both humans and animals.”
Kessler said the conditions were of “the worst level of unsanitary conditions.”
“We immediately obtained a seizure warrant for the dogs,” Kessler said.
Due to severe neglect and health conditions, two of the dogs, (one puppy and one adult pit bull mix breed), were humanely euthanized.
Sheriff Fowler said Weldon was allowed to adopt animals from an out-of-county Metroplex animal shelter without a proper background check.
“That is totally unacceptable and very disheartening,” Fowler said.
Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Lt. Mark Arnett said a 1-year-old male infant was discovered in a crib in one of the rooms which was surrounded by animal feces.
“A child endangerment case is being investigated,” he said, “with pending charges for additional individuals living inside the residence. Child Protective Services was notified immediately for obvious poor environmental conditions which was alarmingly unhealthy for the child. CPS ruled the scene as unsuitable.”
Arnett added the investigation is currently ongoing.
As of Thursday morning, Weldon remained incarcerated at the Parker County Jail.