Dozens of animals seized from sanctuary

HOUSTON – The Houston SPCA seized dozens of animals from a Cypress animal sanctuary Tuesday night, rescuing them from unsanitary conditions.

It happened at the Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in the 18000 block of Kz Road. 

The SPCA rescued 24 dogs, 15 cats, one turtle, one chipmunk and three horses. Workers also found a deceased cat inside the facility.

"The entire house had a really strong ammonia smell, obviously speaking to an unclean environment and feces overflowed litter boxes," Brian Latham of the Houston SPCA said.

He said the SPCA had been called out to the no-kill shelter in the past to perform surface level inspections. 

"In those situations, nothing out of the ordinary was noticed," Latham said. "Anything we had been called out about didn't exist when we arrived."

But on Tuesday, after receiving a search warrant, crews did a more in-depth inspection and discovered the unsanitary conditions. 

"People are basically bringing them to an animal concentration camp, where they live a slow painful death of starvation or dehydration," Erin Tucker, who used to volunteer with the organization, said.

Tucker said she contacted the Harris County District Attorney's Office about the situation and law enforcement finally received a warrant to search the property. 

The property owners were on site as the SPCA seized the animals and they did cooperate with officials. There has been no word yet if the property owners will face any animal cruelty charges.

For now the animals are at the Houston SPCA, where they are getting cleaned and fed. A judge will decide whether or not they remain at the SPCA or if they will return to Noah's Ark.