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41 animals rescued in Newton County from 'horror-filled' conditions

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Courtesy KTRE

NEWTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -  Acting on an animal cruelty tip, the Newton County Sheriff's Office and investigators from the Houston Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals seized 41 dogs, goats, rabbits, and chickens from a property that looked like "a scene from 'Hoarders'" in the Deweyville area on March 6.

According to Deputy Kevin Norton of the Newton County Sheriff's Office, the next step is a seizure hearing, which will be held in one of the county's justice of the peace courts. The hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday, will determine whether or not the animals' owners will regain custody of them.

"It was really bad," Norton said. "The best description that I heard was that it was like a scene from 'Hoarders.' There was junk everywhere - both inside and outside the house, and there were carcasses of dead animals like rabbits and chickens lying on the ground."

Norton said NCSO is planning to file animal cruelty charges against the animals' owners. However, they can't do that until after the seizure hearing.

The Houston SPCA Web site described the property as a "horror-filled scene."

"Investigators found decomposing carcasses and skeletal remains of other animals littering the property," the Houston SPCA Web site stated. "Many of the animals still alive were found in confined in cages next to dead animals. Old furniture, vehicles, equipment, trash, and stagnant water were strewn throughout the property."

Norton said the animals are now in the custody of the Houston SPCA. According to the Houston SPCA's Web site, the organization's veterinary team performed medical evaluations on each animal.

"Pending judicial disposition, the Houston SPCA will place as many animals as possible into loving homes, with, adoption partners, or in reputable sanctuaries," the Web site stated.

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