Sheriff's office: "No signs of abuse or neglect" at San Saba County pet blood bank

Posted at 7:41 AM, Sep 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-23 13:39:39-04

The San Saba County Sheriff's Office said they found "no signs of abuse or neglect" at a pet blood bank where PETA claimed about a 150 greyhounds were being "imprisoned, neglected, and farmed for their blood."

Although the sheriff's office doesn't directly reference the business in its statement, only identifying it as a "reported location," PETA identified the business as Pet Food Bank, Inc., in a press release.

PETA said the facility is near Cherokee, which is about 70 miles west of Killeen.

In a story posted on its website, PETA alleged "dogs were denied veterinary care for severe oral infections and infected wounds, an apparent broken leg, and other health issues."

PETA also alleged most dogs at the facility are in "solitary confinement" and are living in "unsanitary dirt-floored wire cages."

The animal rights organization said it asked San Saba County authorities to investigate the facility. It also urged the facility's operates to turn the dogs over to rescue agencies.

San Saba County sheriff's deputy Jeffrey Dunlap told News Channel 25's Pattrik Simmons he responded to the location on Friday in reference to a call about harassment and threats the owner of the facility, who was not identified, was receiving.

"I have never once received a call at this location for any form of abuse, neglect, cruelty, or concern," Dunlap said.

On Friday afternoon, the San Saba County Sheriff's Office posted the following statement on its Facebook page:

"It has come to the attention of the Sheriff’s Office of a story on the internet that there is a business in our county that has animals (Greyhounds) that are being abused and neglected. A Deputy went to the reported location and met with the owner who gave him free and unlimited access to the facility. The Deputy could see that all animals had food, water, and shelter and could find no signs of abuse or neglect and the animals appeared to be healthy. Also on scene was an Inspector with the Texas Greyhound Association would also found the story to be baseless. The Deputy then tracked down the Veterinarian who has been on location to check the animals within the recent months and he had never observed anything that would cause concern. The Sheriff and his Deputies take very seriously reports of abuse or neglect of wildlife, Domesticated Livestock, Domesticated pets. We will continue to investigate any reports we are made aware of."

Pet Blood Bank, Inc., also responded to PETA's claims in a statement on its website

"The allegations against The Pet Blood Bank and the treatment of our dogs by PETA are unjustified. Our facilities have been inspected by local law enforcement and the Texas Greyhound Association and have been deemed adequate. ... We take great pride in our facilities and assure you that they are more than adequate for the good health of our donors."

Texas Greyhound Association president David Peck sent News Channel 25 the following statement Saturday afternoon:

"Although we are well aware of PeTA’s reputation for distorting the facts to raise money and get media coverage, the Texas Greyhound Association (TGA) takes any matters relating to greyhound welfare very seriously. We are currently investigating the allegations made against Pet Blood Bank Inc. A TGA representative visited the facility yesterday to conduct an initial inspection and found no signs of the serious neglect shown in the PeTA video. At the same time, a representative of the sheriff’s office arrived, and after inspecting the facility, indicated that he saw no evidence of seriously problematic conditions. The operator of the Pet Blood Bank advised us that he believed the video may have been taken several years ago when the facility was under previous ownership. We are working with the sheriff’s department to arrange an independent veterinary inspection of the facility and the dogs housed there to get a  more in-depth understanding of the situation. Once we have completed that process and have all the facts, we will determine what further actions may be necessary.

News Channel 25 has reached out to Pet Blood Bank, Inc., for further comment.

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