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Police rescued 270 dogs and a cat stored in “terrible” conditions at a warehouse in Texas, officials say.
An animal shelter had to close its doors to the public so it could care for all the animals.
Police seized the dogs and cat Monday night in Los Fresnos, according to the Cameron County Department of Public Health.
The animals were malnourished — with three to four dogs in some kennels — and in need of medical help, Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said, according to KGBT.
“Never in my lifetime have I seen anything like this,” Lucio said during a press conference, according to the Harlingen TV station. “According to the officers, the conditions were terrible. It would make anybody sick.”
Neighbors said they’ve heard barking in the middle of the night but never suspected anything like this, according to KVEO.
“We weren’t sure of what is was or where it was coming from,” Valeria Gracia told the Brownsville TV station.
Because of the overwhelming number of animals, the county’s animal shelter is closing and won’t accept animals from the public, officials said.
“The large number of animals which we are working with requires that we utilize the entire facility for them,” Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo said in a news release. “Once the situation is stabilized, operations will resume to normal operating hours.”
For now, the animal shelter needs supplies such as dog kennels, towels, rags and newspapers. Officials say they’re finalizing plans for an adoption fair to find homes for the animals.
Mark Anthony Trevino, 29, and Steven Clark Woodington, 59, were charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals, according to KGBT.