Authorities in Springfield, Texas were stunned to find a one-year-old child and 58 dogs living in the same home yesterday. Five people were arrested on charges of child endangerment and animal cruelty, and the boy has been taken into the custody of the state.
Teresa Weldon, mother of the one-year-old baby boy faces charges of child endangerment and animal cruelty, while her relatives, including Weldon's mother, father and two siblings will face lesser charges. Authorities removed 58 dogs from the "alarmingly unhealthy" conditions in the home.
Police were at Weldon's home to serve a warrant for writing a bad check, Fox News reports. When officials entered the home, they found the property covered in dog feces and other filth; many of the animals were malnourished and sick, leading to their prompt removal from the home.
At least five puppies have died, and two dogs had to be euthanized as a result of their living in squalor. "There was an overwhelming foul odor of feces which was detectable from outside the residence. It was extremely unhealthy for both humans and animals," investigator John Qualls said in a news release.
The conditions were alarming and show the problems caused by animal hoarding, a condition in which an individual "collects" too many animals to take care of healthily. Earlier this month authorities in Florida removed 263 dogs from a single home. In that incident all of the dogs removed were able to be placed with rescue organizations and be adopted.
Criminal charges are pending in that case, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. And criminal charges are also pending against Donna Montoya of Indiana, whose 82 dogs were removed from her home in January. Several of those dogs had to be euthanized due to health reasons, but the majority have been treated and placed in new homes.