Wednesday, July 11, 2012 , Updated 12:48 p.m., July 13, 2012
UPDATED: Sheriff seeks help finding suspects who taped dog’s mouth shut
Cruelty/torture of a non-livestock animal is a state jail felony.
Parker County sheriff’s investigators are seeking information about the suspect(s) responsible for torturing a dog. A concerned citizen called the sheriff’s office Monday around 8:30 a.m. to report an injured dog just southeast of Weatherford. The 3-4 year old female pug mix had a severely swollen tongue after someone had used electrical tape to forcefully shut her mouth after pulling her tongue out.
Sheriff’s ACO Supervisor Karen Kessler said animal control officers and about 10 concerned citizens searched for the dog -- who they named Hope -- on horseback, four-wheelers, and on foot for several hours. She was finally found circling a stock tank, apparently seeking water, around 5:30 p.m. Monday and was taken to Bowie Drive Animal Hospital.
According to the press release, the veterinary staff said it took about 100 internal and external stitches to close five intentional gashes inflicted on Hope. She was overheated, with a temp of 105.7, bleeding from apparent intentional injuries, dehydrated and unable to eat, drink, or pant. Surgery was required to stabilize her. She is now on pain medications and antibiotics, and has been given IV fluids to re-hydrate her and sedatives to calm her.
The sheriff's office is collecting funds for Hope’s recovery and care. Donors can make checks payable to the Parker County Sheriff’s Animal Care and Cruelty Reward Fund. Checks can be mailed to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office at 129 Hogle Street Weatherford, Texas 76086, Attn: Deputy Danie Huffman, or contact Deputy Huffman at 682-229-2358.
“This is horrendous,” Fowler said. “I can’t imagine what would bring a person to such an evil act. We are fortunate to have found her when we did. Our investigators have seen some pretty terrible things in their careers, but this case is deeply disturbing and leaves us shocked.”
Fowler added that evidentiary items from Hope have been submitted to an area crime lab for analysis. “Anyone with any information is strongly urged to contact us,” Fowler said. “We are treating this case with the highest priority.” Cruelty/torture of a non-livestock animal is a state jail felony. [UPDATE: If prosecutors prove that the tape used to shut her muzzle was a deadly weapon, animal cruelty with use of a deadly weapon is punishable by 2-10 years in prison.]
Those with information may call the Parker County Sheriff’s Office at 817-596-8845 or the Parker County Crime Stoppers Hotline at 817-599-5555. You may remain anonymous when calling and receive up to a
$1,000 $35,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and/or indictment of the individuals involved in this crime.
[UPDATE: The reward has been increased to $35,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crime. An anonymous donor gave $25,000 and Parker County Crimestoppers is offering $10,000.
Animal activist Jonnie England reports that as of Wednesday afternoon, Hope's prognosis is "good."]
UPDATE x2: Parker County residents Charlie and Kit Moncrief have adopted Hope, the DMN reports.
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