Man charged after rescue of 17 dogs from Waco home

WACO, TX (KWTX) – The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Juan Villareal, 47, on charges of cruelty to non-livestock animals in an animal hoarding case.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Villareal surrendered around 4 a.m. on August 18 after learning the FAST unit was after him.

“He’s resting comfortably at the kennel on Highway 6,” McNamara said of Villareal being held in county jail.

The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office responded at 4 p.m. Aug. 13 to an animal rescue call at the corner of Flying Heart Road and South 3rd Street. Five sheriff’s vehicles and three animal control vehicles were at the scene as 17 dogs were rescued from the home.

By the time the dogs were rescued, investigators told KWTX the person renting the property could not be found and had not responded to initial attempts to contact law enforcement.

The dogs were taken to Central Texas Humane Society where they received food, water and medical care. “Who knows how long they’ve been locked up in this house,” said Kandi Hillyer, executive director of the Humane Society. “It was about 115 degrees that they measured in that house they came from. A heartbreaking and absolutely filthy environment.

Taking on more than a dozen dogs at a time is no easy task, and earlier this week, the Humane Society asked for help.

“Vaccines, spaying and neutering, heartworm testing, making sure they’re healthy is going to be expensive,” Hillyer said.

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