Several Shih Tzu puppies rescued from feces-ridden South Texas puppy mill

Dogs kept in cages with rusty nails, chicken wire; had little food or water

Photo does not have a caption

BEN BOLT, Texas – Authorities in Jim Wells County rescued 17 Shih Tzu puppies from a South Texas puppy mill on Friday.

The dogs were kept in a cage similar to a chicken coop -- double stacked cages wrapped in chicken wire with aluminum floors and roofing. The sheriff's department said pieces of chicken wire and rusty nails were exposed.

According to a Facebook post from the sheriff's department, authorities issued an arrest warrant for Claudio Domingo Barrera for cruelty to non-livestock animals after tipsters alerted police to the inhumane conditions the dogs were being kept in.

Photos show old coffee containers and water jugs were tied to the corners of the dogs' cages that held food and water, but when the sheriff's office and Jim Wells County Pets Alive rescued the animals on Friday, there was little food or water for the dogs. 

Additionally, the dogs were confined to the same space as their feces and urine.

Many expressed interest in adopting the dogs, however, the sheriff's office did not say when or if the dogs would be up for adoption.