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Drivers crammed 117 animals into piping-hot U-Hauls for 7-state road trip, TX deputies say

Texas police arrested two men caught driving 117 animals — goats, turkeys, dogs and more — in two extremely hot U-Haul trucks from Colorado to Florida on Monday, according to the Parmer County Sheriff’s Office.
Texas police arrested two men caught driving 117 animals — goats, turkeys, dogs and more — in two extremely hot U-Haul trucks from Colorado to Florida on Monday, according to the Parmer County Sheriff’s Office. Parmer County Sheriff's Office

It was like a modern-day Noah’s ark — well, except that there was no flood, the two men used U-Hauls and they’re now facing animal cruelty charges.

Police pulled over two men Monday around noon as they rolled from New Mexico into Texas driving in separate U-Haul trucks, according to the Parmer County Sheriff’s Office. When deputies and police officers searched the vehicles, they discovered more than 100 animals stuffed inside the overheated moving trucks, deputies said.

Deputies and Farwell, Texas, police officers said they found one truck stuffed with 38 dairy goats. The other truck had a more mixed cargo: There were 58 chickens, 7 goats, 5 turkeys, 4 dogs, 3 Guineas and 2 Chinchillas, the sheriff’s office said.

Conditions inside the trucks were alarming, deputies said.

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Randy Jesus Mendez, 23 Parmer County Jail

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Osvaldo Garcia Jr., 22 Parmer County Jail

The temperature was over 95 degrees in the back where the animals were housed, while it was about 86 degrees outside in northeast Texas — right on the New Mexico border — at noon Monday, according to the sheriff’s office.

With no water to drink in the U-Hauls, the livestock, exotic pets and other animals were “in distress” when deputies got to them, the sheriff’s office said.

All of the animals were seized and handed over to a veterinarian for treatment.

The drivers, meanwhile, were both arrested on animal cruelty charges, the sheriff’s office said.

Osvaldo Garcia Jr., 22, is being held at the Parmer County Jail on $4,000 bond, KCBD reports, while bond has not yet been set for Randy Jesus Mendez, 23.

Deputies and police tracked down the trucks after a caller reported a potential animal welfare concern — namely, that someone was transporting livestock and other animals cross country in U-Hauls, according to the sheriff’s office.

The animals were being taken from Colorado to Florida, deputies said.

Photos released by the sheriff’s office suggest the men were hauling bikes, alfalfa pellets, electric fans, a mattress, a volleyball and even Bounty paper towels in addition to the live animals.

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

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