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Texas animal rescuers taken into custody after multiple dogs found injured, starving to death

animal rescue
Source: Smith County Jail

Feb. 16 2022, Published 9:08 a.m. ET

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Two animal rescuers in Texas were charged with eight counts of animal cruelty after animal control found unsanitary conditions and injured dogs in their care, authorities said.

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On Feb. 9, authorities in Smith County arrested Tina Loper, 53, followed by 55-year-old Eric Wayne two days later. Both posted $110,000 bond.

On Jan. 4, animal control performed a welfare check on Dog Days Ranch and Rescue, the rescue in Winona the pair operated together, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by KLTV.

The affidavit states animal control agents contacted Smith County Constable Josh Joplin after they found multiple issues at the property, including an emaciated dog that had to be euthanized because she had a bone stuck in her trachea and was slowly starving to death.

Multiple dogs appeared to have injured legs, police said, and one 11-month-old animal was covered in fleas and had difficulty breathing.

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According to the affidavit, most kennels did not have sufficient water or food and were covered in dog feces, KTYX reported.

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Six days after the check, Loper met with Constable Joplin and allegedly admitted she and Morris, who owned the property, “made a lot of mistakes” at the rescue, the affidavit states.

Despite Smith County authorities telling Loper to reduce the number of dogs in her care, she never did and a warrant was obtained for her and Wayne’s arrests on Jan. 25, police said.

animal rescue
Source: Smith County Jail
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