WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Dozens of animals have been found on a property north of Georgetown, some of which had died and may have been beheaded, according to Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody.
All were found on the same property in the 600 block of Private Road 914. Deputies were alerted Tuesday night at about 10:30 p.m. by a person who was helping feed the animals.
A total of 53 animals were found, including dogs, cats, chickens, peacocks and other birds. Of those, 14 had died.
“Four dogs and two cats were found decomposing inside the house in locked crates, the rest were deceased chickens and ducks in the backyard,” the sheriff’s department wrote in a release.
When deputies arrived, the home was in disarray, Chody said during a news conference. He added that he doesn’t believe the owners were breeding the pets.
“The air quality inside the residence had to be monitored and looked at before deputies could go inside because the stench was so strong that they just wanted to be safe,” Chody said.
Authorities said the homeowner was recently in the hospital for a couple of days, but Chody said some animals appeared to have died prior to the homeowner’s hospitalization.
Robert Catron, who lives nearby, said he was devastated to hear about the condition of the animals. “If I knew it was around here, I’d see what I could do to help,” he said. “I hope they get taken care of real well and find better homes. They need somebody to take care of them real good.”
Shelter needs your help while caring for these animals
The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter said it received 38 animals from the property, including dogs, cats and birds. They have to undergo physical examinations, and they will not be up for adoption until a judge decides who gets ownership of the animals, which is expected to happen on Aug. 2 or 3.
“While they’re in our care, we’re going to give them a basic wellness check,” Misty Valenta, the shelter’s community programs coordinator, said. “We’re going to make sure they’re comfy. We’re going to spoil them as much as we can.”
The shelter told KXAN they are in need of donations for the influx of animals they just took in. They particularly need newspaper for the cats as well as chicken and bird feed.
They also need help caring for dogs and cats that were already at the shelter.
Valenta said even Wednesday afternoon, as they were caring for the rescued animals, they took in a steady stream of strays.
When KXAN visited the shelter, most of their kennels were full of adoptable animals.
The shelter said the public can help by fostering or adopting those pets.
“I was disturbed and upset,” said Renee Strycker Wednesday evening about seeing the images of the rescued animals. Renee and Bob Strycker told KXAN they came to the shelter after hearing about the case. They wanted to help by fostering a dog.
“Pets are an important part of our lives, and we should treat them with the same amount of respect that all living being should be treated with,” said Strycker.
They ended up picking a 1-year-old mixed breed named Wyatt.
Wyatt will get to play with two foster sisters — one cat and one dog — as he waits for his forever home.
“It’s just a small way,” said Strycker. “I mean it’s going to be so easy to take a dog into our home. We’ve been pet owners, so it’ll just be a small way we can help contribute to our community.”
By the time shelter closed Wednesday night, 8 dogs and cats had been adopted. Eleven dogs and cats went to foster homes.
No one has been arrested in the case but Chody says they expect to have 15 counts of animal cruelty non-livestock filed soon.