GILMER — Two men were arrested Wednesday in connection with the seizure of 37 dogs by law officers and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas, Upshur County Precinct 1 Constable Gene Dolle said.
The dogs, mostly in poor condition, and three dead dogs were found at a residence on a private road off Farm-to-Market Road 1650 in the Indian Rock community east of Gilmer, Dolle said.
The men, whose identities were not released pending their arraignment, were charged with felony cruelty to the dead animals, misdemeanor cruelty to the seized animals, and possession of a controlled substance suspected to be methamphetamine, Dolle said.
They were to be booked into the Upshur County Jail in Gilmer, he said.
The seizure and arrests stemmed from the SPCA and Longview city Animal Control Officer Jacqui Lynch recently starting an investigation in that city "on mistreatment of animals," Dolle said. When the Society and Ms. Lynch went to a site in Longview to serve warrants, the animals and suspects were gone but later found in Upshur County, the constable said.
The SPCA and Ms. Lynch contacted him and he assisted them with the investigation, he said. An undercover agent found mistreatment of animals, resulting in Dolle getting warrants together Wednesday before he, the SPCA, the Upshur County Sheriff's Office and Ms. Lynch went to the site and seized the animals, he said.
Dolle, who arrested the men, said the dead dogs, one of which was decapitated, appeared to have been in fights. Their bodies were found in a trash can, he said.
The seized dogs, some of which had mange and some of which appeared to have the parvo virus, were taken to the SPCA facility in McKinney, he said. Some were in fair condition, the constable said.
The suspects probably will be arraigned today, said Dolle, who added that he appreciated the cooperation between agencies in carrying out the seizure.