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Coryell couple arrested after sizable menagerie of animals found on ranch

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Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 12:00 pm

By Holly Wise

Killeen Daily Herald

CORYELL COUNTY - More than 300 animals were removed from a Coryell County ranch Monday as the result of a lengthy investigation conducted by the Coryell County Sheriff's Department.

Coryell County Justice of the Peace Coy Latham said sheriff's deputies, Texas Rangers and the Houston SPCA left his office at 8 a.m. Monday with an animal seizure warrant.

Curtis Moore, 51, and Racine Moore, 63, were arrested Monday and charged with 10 counts of animal cruelty each. They were booked in the Coryell County Jail; bond has not been set. Latham said the court has 48 hours to arraign the suspects.

Among the animals retrieved from the property were 230 dogs, mostly Rottweilers, 40 horses, 18 cats, five fighting birds, two Bengal tigers, two mountain lions, a lizard, a raccoon, a monkey and a deer.

The house alone contained 58 dogs, Latham said.

Coryell County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Joe Blakley said the Moores had been under investigation for the condition of their horses. A deputy had repeated conversations with the couple about feeding the horses properly.

"It got to the point where he got enough probable cause," Blakley said. "We had to do something."

Blakley said investigators were aware of the dogs, but the exotic cats were a surprise.

"We knew that they had an exhibitor's license but they had told us they only had one cat," he said. "It took us getting an animal seizure warrant to find out no, they didn't have one cat, they had four."

Blakley said the dogs appear to be in good condition and were under the care of a Houston ASPCA veterinarian at the ranch.

Latham said he didn't know how large the ranch was, but that it was "not near enough to sustain" the number of animals the couple owned.

Officers were still working at the ranch Tuesday afternoon.

Contact Holly Wise at hwise@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474.

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