MONTAGUE COUNTY, TX—Nearly 500 dogs were seized from a Bowie kennel this morning and taken to a temporary shelter in Fort Worth, authorities said.
The dogs -- 496 in all -- were seized by the Montague County Sheriff's Department and the Humane Society early Tuesday morning from the Heddins Ranch and Kennel, said Sandy Grambort, a supervisor with the Humane Society.
"This is not a typical rescue. It is extremely large. Now we are in the midst of this -- one of the largest puppy situations that we have seen in many, many years."
Authorities were told by customers that the owners were not properly caring for the animals, and investigators with the Humane Society were able to verify those complaints.
The agency has received complaints about the kennel for the past 10 years, she said.
The property owners, who have not been arrested, were running a large-scale breeding farm with a variety of breeds. Some of the animals, Cynthia Jones, a Humane Society Veterinarian said, were in decent condition.
However, a large percentage were in poor condition, including two dogs who were taken to a Benbrook animal hospital in critical condition.
"We are just getting into the basics of what we even know is going on," she said. "It is going to take a couple days to figure out everything."
Jones says the dogs are suffering from skin problems, parasites and weight issues.
"If you look at a lot of these dogs, they are very thin," she said. "And even the ones that are big and pregnant are still thin."
The dogs will be held for the next 10 days at a warehouse owned by Chesapeake Energy near the Stockyards until a judge determines who should get custody of the dogs.
If the Humane Society retains custody, the dogs would be put up for adoptions once being deemed healthy.