Animals Taken from W.F. Homes in Bad Health

- Wichita Falls animal services officials say of the 80 or so dogs and cats taken Wednesday and Friday from two homes owned by the same man, 23 had to be euthanized and most are in bad health.

Animal Services officials say all 23 pets, taken Friday from a home on Windthorst Road, had to all be put down and the 56 dogs and taken Wednesday from another home on Lindale Drive were still being assessed.

These are just three of 45 dogs that Wichita Falls Animal Services Center officials are documenting and assessing. They were taken from a home on Landale Drive and officials say they're all underweight, infested with fleas and some have hair loss. Eleven anti-social cats were also taken from the house and are now at the center. Officials say their conditions are worse than the dogs.

"Nearly all the cats have what appears to be some type of upper respiratory illness. They're having trouble breathing.  They have matted hair.  Several have skin issues and some hair loss," says Katrena Mitchell, administrator of the Wichita Falls Animal Services Center.
All the 23 animals taken from the home on Windthorst Road have been put down and sadly, animal officials say all of the cats and most of the dogs from Lindale Drive will have to be put down.
City officials say a person is only allowed up to four pets, but animal services officials have stopped short of calling this particular owner a hoarder.

But Brooks Harvey, a licensed professional counselor, says from what he's heard about the owner he believes he fits the description of a pet hoarder.

"Studies show a lot of these people don't have any idea that they're neglecting their animals.  They can't comprehend that.  It's associated with depressive disorders and anxiety disorders often times," says Harver, who works at Helen Farabee Regional MHMR.

It's unknown if the owner is in fact a diagnosed hoarder but officials say they are doing all they can to save the youngest dogs they believe will survive.

Animal Service officials have issued no citations and Wichita Falls Police have filed no charges. But both agencies say their investigations continue.

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