Claudio Barrera Jr. was in county court Tuesday in the attempt to get his 25 Shih-Tzu dogs that were recently rescued by Jim Wells County Sheriff Investigators.
Investigators seized his dogs, in August, from two puppy mills in Ben Bolt.
According to court documents, the court found Barrera did cruelly treat the animals by cruel confinement and neglect and it is therefore ordered that (Barrera) be (deprived) of ownership of said animals together will all pens, cages and other equipment used to confine the said animals.
The order by JWC County Attorney Michael Guerra ends the civil matter of this case.
JWC deputies rescued the dogs from inhumane conditions from two of Barrera's properties on Third Street and on Arizpe Street.
The dogs were housed in a “chicken coops” with no adequate food or water. The dogs smelled of urine, had no bedding, and some adults dogs had mange on their faces. There were rusty nails sticking out of the aluminum siding and chicken wire kennel.
The dogs were awarded to animal rescue groups that have been fostering the dogs.
Barrera was ordered to pay PeeWee's Pet Adoption World and Sanctuary, Inc. in Corpus Christi a total of $15,270 for housing and other fees related to the dogs, Saenz stated. Barrera was also told to destroy the two puppy mills.
Deputies had approached Barrera in July when the initial report was filed. Barrera was warned about the conditions and the consequences if he failed to improve the animals living conditions. When deputies went for a follow up in August conditions hadn't changed.
In 2015, Barrera had been fined for running a puppy mill in his backyard, but he was never arrested. According to sheriff officials, Barrera had told them that he would find the dogs in the street and take them home.
This is the second time deputies have seized dogs from Barrera. According to Yolanda Marquez, one of the rescuers, she was told that Barrera had been running puppy mills since the 1980s.
Barrera is expected to go to court on criminal charges in November.