A total of 17 Shih Tzu puppies were rescued by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office Friday from a puppy mill in Ben Bolt, Texas, with the help of a rescue group called Jim Wells County Pets of Life.
The sheriff said the same puppy mill was being investigated in the summer of 2015, but finally after many complaints, the puppies were seized.
According to a Facebook post by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Office, they had received reports that a man was housing animals on his property in an inhumane manner. On the property, they found the Shih Tzu puppies inside a large double-stacked chicken coop with an aluminum floor and roof.
In the post, the Sheriff's Office also said there were rusty nails and pieces of chicken wire sticking out of the coop, and the animals did not have enough food or water.
Sgt. Gilberto Saenz issued an arrest warrant for Claudio Domingo Barrera, the owner of the property, for cruelty to non-livestock animals.
The Sheriff's Office said the puppies are being held in an undisclosed shelter until the case goes in front of a judge, which will likely happen either Monday or Tuesday. After that, they will be up for adoption.
An investigation is ongoing.
Photos and video by the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department