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Puppy Mills Lassoed in Texas

The SPCA of Texas takes down a mass-breeding facility—and takes in hundreds of dogs

Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.

The sign at the entrance of an isolated property near Gladewater, Texas, let passersby know they weren’t welcome.

Beyond the gate, shielded from public view by property rights and privacy laws, almost 250 dogs and puppies lived and died in deplorable conditions. Until a citizen happened to visit the property for an unrelated purpose—and then called police to report what he’d seen—no one knew the extent of the dogs’ neglect.

It was a Monday in late September when officials at the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office notified the SPCA of Texas in Dallas that they needed help removing hundreds of dogs from a suspected puppy mill. Shelter staff had little time to prepare. On Tuesday, they visited the property to assess the situation and count the dogs; by the next morning, the sheriff’s office had obtained a seizure warrant.

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