Over 50 Dogs Rescued from Life-Threatening Conditions
On FridayApril 20, 2012, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office completed an on-going investigation regarding Animal Cruelty at the “Lit’l Bit of Heaven Puppies” located at 1041 C.R. 425 in Dime Box. The owner of the business was identified as Patricia Whatley. The Humane Society of the United States, Austin Travis County Animal Services, and the Lee County Attorney’s Office assisted in the investigation.
In March, the Lee County Sheriff ’s Office became concerned about the facility when someone lodged a complaint about puppies dying of Parvo and the unsanitary conditions where the dogs and puppies were being kept. The investigation resulted in obtaining a search warrant and animal seizure being filed against the facility.
When Officers and the animal rescue team arrived at the location, they found 52 various small breeds of animals living in life-threatening conditions, including Schnauzers, Poodles, Maltese and Chihuahuas. Many were living in small wire enclosures littered with feces. Some of the dogs were severely matted, urine stained and suffering from a variety of infections, dental disease and medical issues common to animals living in unsanitary conditions.
The dogs and puppies were voluntarily surrendered by the owner.
Once the animals were safely removed from their cages, they were examined by on-site veterinarians from the Austin Animal Services. The animals were then transported to the Austin Animal Center by the Austin/ Travis County Animal Services team. In Austin the animals will be thoroughly examined by a team of veterinarians and receive any medical treatment needed before being considered for adoption or being placed into foster homes.
The case will be presented to the County Attorney for review.
Involved in the investigation were Sheriff Rodney Meyer, Chief Deputy Nathan Lapham, Deputy Michael York, Deputy James Crockett, Deputy Steve Skinner, Constable Charles Kothmann, the Humane Society of the United States and the Austin/Travis County Animal Services team.