Man charged after 17 dogs rescued from Waco home
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office arrested Juan Villareal, 47, charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals in an animal hoarding case involving 17 dogs rescued from a home.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Villareal turned himself in around 4 a.m. on Aug. 18 after learning the FAST Unit was after him. “He’s resting comfortably at the kennel on Highway 6,” McNamara said about Villareal being held at the county jail.
A complaint accuses Villareal of “knowingly, intentionally, and unreasonably failing to provide necessary food and water.” Villareal, the complaint further alleges, abandoned the dogs, “causing unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering.”
The McLennan County Sherriff’s Office responded at 4 p.m. Aug. 13 to an animal rescue call at the corner of Flying Heart Road and South 3rd Street. Five sheriff vehicles and three animal control vehicles were at the scene as 17 dogs were rescued from the house.
At the time the dogs were rescued, investigators told KWTX the person renting the property was nowhere to be found and did not respond to law enforcement’s initial attempts for contact. The owner of the property told investigators Villareal had been renting the residence since 2017.
“While on scene, deputies observed some abandoned dogs in the residence located above without air conditioning,” a complaint obtained by KWTX states. “The residence was closed up and not allowing for adequate air conditioning.”
The dogs were taken to the Humane Society of Central Texas where they received food, water and medical treatment. “Who knows how long they were locked up in that house,” Kandi Hillyer, Executive Director of the Humane Society, said. “It was about 115 degrees they measured in that home they came from. A heart wrenching, absolutely filthy environment.”
Taking in more than a dozen dogs at one time is no simple task, and earlier this week, the Humane Society asked for help.
“The vaccines, the spay and neuter, heartworm tests, making sure they are healthy is going to be expensive,” Hillyer said.
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