Before a custody hearing Wednesday at the Ellis County Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 Courthouse in Waxahachie, an agreement was reached between the animal owner, the Ellis County Sheriff's Office and the SPCA of Texas for the animal owner to relinquish ownership of 27 cruelly treated animals seized from an Ellis County residence to the SPCA of Texas. ??

The SPCA of Texas will now individually evaluate the animals for potential adoption or placement on a case by case basis.

On July 31, under the authority of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, the SPCA of Texas took custody of 27 cruelly treated animals from a property in Ferris.

The animals included 16 chickens, three ducks, two horses, two turkeys, two puppies, one donkey and one pigeon.

One of the horses found on the property was severely underweight, appears to be suffering from an injury on one leg and was found eating Chex Mix out of a cardboard box and ears of corn. These are not appropriate food sources for horses.

The other horse and the donkey were found on the property. These animals had access to a bare pasture which was littered with broken bricks, corn cobs that had been picked clean and trash piles, and included a dry pond.

Sixteen chickens, three ducks, two turkeys and the pigeon were found inside a chicken coop on the property, which was filed with feces and rotten corn cobs. They did not have access to an appropriate water source, as the tubs that were provided were full of water that was unsuitable for drinking. Several of the chickens were missing feathers, and some were so lacking in feathers that much of their skin was laid bare.

Two puppies, both suffering from hair loss and flea infestation, were found roaming the property. The puppies did not have access to appropriate food or water.

The Ellis County Sheriff's Office contacted the SPCA of Texas regarding the animals' conditions.

The SPCA of Texas and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office concurred that the animals were cruelly treated. The two groups also agreed that it was in the animals' best interest to remove them.

The Ellis County Sheriff's Office sought a seizure warrant and the SPCA of Texas took custody of the animals Wednesday. SPCA of Texas vehicles transported the animals to the Russell H. Perry Animal Care Center at 8411 Stacey Road, McKinney, Texas, where they were examined by medical staff and cared for until the custody hearing.