HOUSTON – The Houston SPCA has seized more than 300 domestic and exotic animals from a ranch in Coryell County, Texas.
Among the seized animals are more than 200 dogs, 40 puppies, one tamarin, two Bengal tigers, two mountain lions, 18 domestic cats, five birds, one lizard, 10 rodents, one deer, one raccoon and more than 30 horses and donkeys.
The SPCA said the animals were found living in very poor conditions. Investigators found several dead puppies and others suffering from hypothermia.
The horses were being cared for Wednesday by a Houston-area veterinarian. The deer and the raccoon were removed by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The rest of the animals were taken to the Houston SPCA on Portway Drive.
The SPCA gave special thanks to the Houston Zoo for providing guidance on the humane transport, medical care, proper nutrition and environmental enrichment for the exotic animals. They also thanked the Coryell County Sheriff's Office for aggressively pursuing the case.
Two suspects were charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty and two environmental charges – one of which is a felony – in connection with the case, the SPCA said.
Investigators said additional charges may be filed, and an initial court hearing was scheduled for Thursday.
The names of the suspects were not released.