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37 dogs seized from Wharton home

By BY JENNIFER PREYSS - JLPREYSS@VICAD.COM
Feb. 22, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:22 p.m.


Volunteers and animal rescue agencies have been working overtime in recent days to find homes for more than 30 dogs seized by the Wharton County Police Department on Tuesday.

The dogs, which ranged in age from puppies to adults, were discovered at a residence along county roads 129 and 119, said Wharton County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Wally Rodriguez.

Rodriguez said police are leading the investigation behind the dog seizure, which includes the illegal sale of English, American and French bulldogs and mixed-breed boxers.

Sherry Smith, a volunteer with the Wharton County Animal Shelter, said volunteers and animal control staff received the dogs Tuesday afternoon and immediately began searching for rescue and adoption alternatives to prevent euthanization.

"There were so many of them, and we had limited space," at the shelter, Smith said.

Of the 37 dogs, 17 were sent to the Wharton Veterinary Clinic, 10 were sent to the Wharton Animal Shelter and 10 went to the El Campo Animal Shelter.

Smith said many of the animals were scheduled to be euthanized, but in two days, each of the dogs was rescued.

"None of them will be euthanized," Smith said.

A self-professed animal lover, Smith said she was pleased to see the community reach out to assist with adopting the dogs.

"Everyone was put in emergency mode to make sure these dogs were rescued. It was absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, the most rewarding experience," she said. "That's why I do this. My phone never stopped ringing."

Wharton County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Raymond Jansky said a 25-year-old Wharton woman was arrested Tuesday and was charged with organizing a fraudulent dog scam from the home.

Jansky said she was twice arrested in 2012 on similar felony theft charges and was convicted Wednesday on those charges. The woman had been out on bond in recent months before her Tuesday arrest.

The case remains under investigation, Jansky said. It is unknown if others were involved in the dog scam.

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