Four arrests have been made on charges of animal cruelty by the SPCA of Texas' Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit: one on a case regarding an alleged puppy mill, and another for two dogs that were suffering from starvation.
Puppy mill arrests
The puppy mill case was in Fannin County, where the SPCA of Texas, the Fannin County Sheriff's Office, and the Honey Grove Police Department seized 140 animals, including 117 dogs, 21 puppies, and two cats, on January 6 from a property near Honey Grove.
On January 17, Cindy Oliver and Mitchell Gilbert were arrested on one charge of Class A Misdemeanor Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals regarding a case from January 6 and were booked into the Fannin County Jail. They were arraigned on January 19, and bond was set at $5,000 each. An indictment will be coming in the next several weeks, and that will determine when the trial will be set.
More than 30 dogs were housed inside the residence on the property, but most of the animals were confined to a structure behind the residence. There, the dogs were living in filthy cages, crates, and kennels, up to three dogs in each. The structure was infested with roaches, which were found crawling all over the dogs and cats housed there. A makeshift run of feces- and urine-filled pens held the majority of the dogs; the entire structure was coated in feces and drenched in urine.
The SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals.
Dallas County arrests
The Dallas County case began on January 10 when the SPCA of Texas received a complaint of suspected animal cruelty at a property in Southern Dallas. The Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office visited the property that morning and were able to see the animals' dire living conditions.
The dogs were found inside wire cages in the backyard and without access to shelter, food, water, or care. Both were emaciated, with ribs and hip bones protruding. One was deceased; the other was so emaciated that every rib and hipbone was plainly visible through his skin.
The owner agreed to sign over custody to the SPCA. A necropsy was performed on the deceased dog, and the cause of death was determined to be from complications related to starvation and dehydration. This dog's entire gastrointestinal tract did not have any substance for nourishment.
The living dog was suffering from starvation, dehydration, and diarrhea as well as being emaciated. He was weak and could barely stand, and was covered in mud and diarrhea. As investigators removed him from the location, he screamed in pain every time he attempted to walk, as he fell over several times.
On January 18, Anthony Terry Nichols, Jr. and Jamine Teara Sadler were arrested on one charge of Third Degree Felony Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals and were booked into the Dallas County Jail. They were arraigned on January 19, and bond was set at $5,000 each. An indictment will be coming in the next several weeks, and that will determine when the trial will be set.