ASPCA Assists Midlothian Police Department in Rescue of Nearly 150 Dogs and Cows from Alleged Cruelty in Texas

The rescued animals, found in extreme heat with some suffering from untreated medical issues, will be relocated to temporary shelters to receive immediate veterinary and behavioral care
August 14, 2023

Midlothian, Texas – At the request of the Midlothian Police Department, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is on the ground in Ellis County, Tex., assisting with the rescue of nearly 150 dogs and cows from a property approximately 30 miles southwest of Dallas. When investigators arrived on scene, they discovered more than 130 adult dogs and puppies living in various areas across the property in extreme heat with little access to fresh water and food. Many of the dogs were contained in a shed-like structure with no light or air circulation, an internal temperature of over 110 degrees and elevated levels of ammonia. The dogs had soiled, matted coats, and some were found underweight and suffering from untreated medical issues that require immediate veterinary attention. Several cows who were also removed from the property had no access to proper food or water or adequate care for their hooves and showed signs of intestinal parasites. Deceased dogs were also found on the property.

The ASPCA is assisting with operational planning and animal removal and transport, evidence collection and crime scene processing, investigative and legal support, forensics exams, and behavior evaluations. The ASPCA will be providing the animals removed from the property with specialized sheltering, medical care, and behavioral treatment and enrichment. The Tri-City Animal Shelter & Adoption Center is assisting with this case by providing short-term shelter for some of the animals until the ASPCA can relocate them to a recovery center for ongoing treatment and care. The SPCA of Texas is also providing transport assistance to help safely relocate the animals.

“The animals the ASPCA helped rescue from this cruel situation were exposed to extreme heat and living in dangerous conditions where their basic needs were not being met. Once we learned about this situation, it was clear that immediate action was needed to bring these dogs and cows to safety,” said Teresa Ladner, senior director of Investigations for the ASPCA. “The ASPCA is proud to be in a position where we can collaborate with local agencies across the country to provide the necessary resources and expertise that help protect at-risk animals, and we commend the Midlothian Police Department for recognizing the need for assistance and prioritizing animal welfare in their community.”

“This is likely the worst animal neglect case I have seen. The City of Midlothian Animal Services team has worked hard to address this situation, but the number of animals in need of care greatly exceeds our capabilities,” said Midlothian Police Department Assistant Chief of Police Scott Brown. “Our Animal Services team, along with our Criminal Investigations Division, was able to partner with the ASPCA and attain the resources that were necessary to alleviate our community of this nuisance. We simply could not have handled this case in a timely manner without the services of the ASPCA.”

Animal cruelty charges are pending based on evidence collected by the ASPCA and the Midlothian Police Department. The ASPCA is providing investigative and legal assistance to further support the investigation and prosecution and to ensure the best legal outcome for these animals. 

The ASPCA deploys nationally to assist local authorities in animal cruelty and neglect cases including animal fighting, hoarding, and puppy mills. It also provides local communities with resources including grant funding, training, and subject matter expertise to effectively assist animals during cruelty and disaster situations.