14 animals were found dead in Georgetown on Tuesday night, according to the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.
38 other animals were rescued and taken to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. Chickens and roosters, 18 in all, make up the majority of the animals seized by WCSO. There were also three cats, five Corgis, a Great Dane with puppies, three Chihuahuas and a standard Poodle. Some domesticated birds were taken, as well as a Pea Hen.
Misty Valenta with the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter says most of the animals are in good health.
“We are giving a wellness check to each one of them, some of them can stand to gain a little bit of weight, we’re treating for fleas, none of them need emergency care at the moment," said Valenta.
The animals were removed from a house Northwest of Georgetown. It’s located near the intersection of Highway 195 and County Road 143.
“I hope they’re getting taken care of real well, find better homes," said Robert Catron.
Catron lives nearby and said some of the animals, at times, had ventured onto his property.
"Messing with our dogs, kind of," said Catron.
Inside the house and around the yard is where investigators say 14 animals were found dead; some still in cages.
“It was pretty deplorable conditions," said Sheriff Robert Chody.
Deputies were called to the house by a person who was asked to care for the animals, according to Chody. The owner was in the hospital for two days. Despite that Chody is pursing animal cruelty charges.
“One of the questions is, if this person was at the hospital for two days, did any of these injuries or deaths, were caused because of him being in the hospital? When you talk about a deceased animal, that is rotting in a crate, it’s obvious the timeline was well before those two days," said Chody.
Shortly after word of the incident got out some people came to the shelter to check and see if any of them were their missing pets, none were. As a precaution the animals are being screened for identification chips. A court hearing regarding ownership has been scheduled for early August.
"This is just the beginning of a story that we’re not sure how long it’s going to be," said Valenta.
Until the question of ownership is resolved, the animals will not be eligible for adoption. But foster care may be needed. There’s some larger livestock still on the property. The sheriff said a decision has not been made whether or not those animals need to be seized.
The name of the owner is not being released at this time, but will be after formal charges are filed.