121 dogs found malnourished in Ector County hoarding case

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - This story does contain graphic material that may be upsetting to some viewers.

“It’s heartbreaking and it’s infuriating,” said President of the Permian Basin Animal Advocates Kelsey Hughes.

121 dogs were found malnourished, injured and roaming the property of a man in Ector County, fighting for their lives.

“Puppies running everywhere, dogs just trying to basically survive and it’s just a terrible situation. Several people walked out of there and just started crying at the sheer amount of dogs,” said Hughes.

Hughes says they were first contacted by the owner of the dogs on March 13th.

“He stated that he had a couple of cans of beans that he was giving some of the younger puppies like these guys here but other than that the other dogs on the property had nothing to eat,” said Hughes.

Hughes says the amount of dogs called for all hands on deck, with the help of 8 other rescues across the Permian Basin, they got to work.

“We went out there started giving him dog food, taking dogs, as we went, some of the dogs he wouldn’t allow us to take and we almost had to bribe him in a sense saying well give you this bag of dog food if you give us this dog,” said Hughes.

Veterinarian Dr. Nicole Hartzoge says Lemon, rescued from the property, was the most severe case she has seen, taken first, on the verge of death.

“She did smell kind of like death a lot of Necrosis was in there and the front laceration on her arm had probably about 100 to 200 maggots in it and her front legs as you can see her back legs are completely chewed up she has basically been fighting for her life as far as I can tell,” said Hartzoge.

It’s a hoarding case that Hughes says has been going on for years.

The reality of the situation shocked not only the 8 organizations across the Permian Basin that stepped in to save the dogs, but Dr. Hartzoge as well.

“They have all definitely come in emaciated, very very dirty, covered in mud and dirt and ticks.. so many ticks and are not all aggressive you can definitely tell some of them are feral; they have never had human interactions before,” said Hartzoge.

Ector County Animal Control Supervisor Luz Barreraz says thankfully the owner signed over all of the dogs.

They are allowing the man to keep three of the dogs. There are only two more left on the property they have set out dog traps for.

“Everyone keeps asking us what about the three dogs left out there because it’s heartbreaking to watch us take all of these knowing they’re going to a better lace and they just look back at us like why aren’t you taking me,” said Hughes.

This case is now an open investigation with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office. Barreraz says the future of this man and whether he is charged is now up to the court.

Barreraz says if you see something say something, but Ector County does not have a shelter, which is a major problem they face in hoarding or animal cruelty scenarios.

PBAA has taken 29 of the dogs in foster homes, the rest have been taken by other organizations hoping to get them socialized and adopted out.