Neglected to the point of starvation; that's how the Lubbock County Sheriff's Department describes dogs they found living in west Lubbock County. They expect to turn their case over to the District Attorney's office by Thursday. NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire has been looking for answers in this case and has the latest.
Investigators are looking for the man who was living on the property until Friday. That's because sheriff's investigators have uncovered a severe case of animal cruelty.
"I know some of the animals have gone without food and water, which resulted in animals dying," said Lubbock County Sheriff's Department Captain Kevin Overstreet.
Investigators took pictures which show at least 15 dogs that were left to survive alone, others weren't able to survive leaving behind remains.
It's a problem, Lubbock Animal Services Director Fred Sanderson says happens all to often. "It goes on a lot. I've been in it since the mid 80's, so I've seen lots of cases where I've cried or thrown up," says Sanderson.
Various local organizations will take in animals if you're no longer able care for them, Sanderson says that's nothing to be ashamed of. "I'd rather they bring them here than dump them in the county or go and give them to somebody that's not ready to handle it," he said.
However, starting Monday a new ordinance will require residents outside the city limits to pay $50 to drop off each animal. Only those living in Lubbock can drop them off for free.
Now that you can no longer take animals from outside the city limits to the shelter for free, Sanderson challenges other municipalities to come up with their own similar animal control program.
Sanderson estimates 100,000 pets are in Lubbock County and the most recent case of animal cruelty is proof not all pets are treated fairly. "Just like Lubbock is growing, the city is growing so each city needs to address their own problem."
The sheriff's department expects to file charges with the District Attorney on Thursday. We're told the owner could face jail time.