CYPRESS, Texas (FOX 26) - Law enforcement seized more than 70 animals at a home in Cypress Wednesday. The horses, donkeys, rabbits and other animals had serious signs of neglect, according to the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable and the SPCA.
Passers-by saw that the animals didn’t look healthy and called in tips, according to Constable Alan Rosen.
“They're chained up," said Corine Ronnez who says she is one of the tipsters who called the constable. "There is no coverage. They feed them bread crumbs. It is horrible. I am so glad they are being confiscated.”
FOX 26 cameras captured the SPCA and Constable's Office herding the horses and donkeys onto trailers to be taken away to an SPCA property Wednesday.
The SPCA shared photos of the rabbits' filthy living conditions. SPCA officials said the rabbits didn't necessarily look unhealthy, but they may have internal diseases due to their cages being covered in manure.
SPCA officials say 34 rabbits were seized from the property owner. Additionally, 32 horses and donkeys, four cats and three dogs were taken away.
The constable says an investigation revealed a number of unacceptable living conditions.
“Some of them are emaciated and underweight,” said Rosen. “Water that had green slime and nasty water. Veterinary care is not being taken care of. Many of the animals were lame where they could not walk because their hooves had grown into their skin.”
Investigators say they were first tipped off to the case in 2017.
“In our attempts to work with the owner and improving the conditions, that was not the case, and at this point we had to step in with Precinct 1 in order to be the voice for these animals,” said Julie Kuenstle with the Houston SPCA.
“It seems as though the owner is under some medical distress and we’re going to try to help her as well," said Rosen.
Kuenstle says the SPCA will now go to court with the owner of the animals to try to get custody of them. The Constable says the owner may be able to get some of the animals back if she proves she can take care of them. In the meantime the SPCA is checking on the animals' health and treating any conditions they may have.