Fort Worth

North Texas puppy mill raided, 73 dogs seized

Authorities seized 73 dogs on March 18 from a puppy mill in Stephens County.
Authorities seized 73 dogs on March 18 from a puppy mill in Stephens County. Courtesy

Officials with the Humane Society of North Texas appealed for help Wednesday to care for 60 dogs seized earlier this month from a puppy mill in Stephens County.

In some enclosures, dogs were living in more than six inches of feces, officials said Wednesday.

A male miniature Australian shepherd officials are calling Ranger has a deformed ear. Several dogs had been living in wire popup crates.

“The conditions these dogs were living in were absolutely horrific,” HSNT lead investigator Kim Meek said in a Wednesday news release. “It was clear that the owners had become overwhelmed. There were so many dogs living inside of the house that the owners had actually moved into a travel trailer in the yard.”

Offiicals rescued 73 dogs March 18 in Stephens County. Owners had been breeding Australian shepherds, border collies, Labrador retrievers and German shepherds. Stephens County is about 100 miles west of Fort Worth.

HSNT officials said dogs from puppy mills are commonly sold on the side of the road, on Craigslist or at large flea markets.

On Monday, officials with the Stephens County Animal Shelter took permanent custody of the dogs, but they were able to only care for 12. Two puppies tested positive for parvovirus, and one died last weekend.

“Puppies born in puppy mills frequently contract life-threatening diseases such as parvovirus and distemper as a result of the squalor they live,” HSNT veterinarian Dr. Cynthia Jones said in the news release. “Sadly, many do not live to see their first birthday.”

HSNT officials took custody of 60 dogs including Ranger this week that are now at a holding facility in Crowley. Ranger will need surgery to remove his ear canal and sew it shut, officials said.

The rescued dogs will remain at the holding facility until they are cleared by the HSNT’s medical team. They also will be spayed or neutered, and enter HSNT’s adoption program.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr

To help the Stephens County dogs:

Donations can be made to or call 817-332-4768. Residents can also mail their donations to the Humane Society of North Texas, 1840 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, Texas 76103.

Source: Humane Society of North Texas.