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AdoptPress Release

BARC Receives Five Shocking Animal Cruelty Victims in last 36 Hours, new Animal Cruelty initiative underway

June 15, 2011 - BARC, the City of Houston's animal shelter and adoption center, received 5 victims of disturbing animal cruelty in the last day and a half.  These incidents come less than two weeks after a woman threw a puppy from a third floor window while in a fight with her partner.  In three of the five incidents, the cruel behavior resulted in the death of the victim animals.  One dog, although alive, has a tremendous hill to climb.    These cases are under investigation.  Descriptions of the incidents follow:

  • A man shot a Yorkshire terrier with a high-powered air rifle, killing the animal.  The dog was shot in the street in front of children.
  • A group of juveniles are suspected a beating to death a dog and burying it in a yard.  A young juvenile informed a guardian, who reported the situation to HPD.  BARC veterinarians are conducting a necropsy to verify beating as the cause of death.
  • A juvenile glued a kitten’s mouth shut and subsequently drowned the animal.
  • A German shepherd was left in a vehicle in 98 degree heat for an extended amount of time while the owner conducted errands.  The dog was seized pending a hearing to determine if it will be returned to the owner.
  • Finally, a group of juveniles apparently applied a propellant agent to a black and brown dachshund mix dog and set him on fire.  The dog survived the incident and was delivered to BARC.  After stabilizing the animal, BARC placed it into foster care with Paws Haven Rescue to receive special medical attention, pending an investigation.  The dog also suffers from high levels of heartworms unrelated to the attack.  Paws Haven Rescue named the dog “Cesar” and delivered him to Westheimer Animal Clinic Bellaire for the extensive care he will need.  If you would like to contribute to the care of Cesar, please contact Paws Haven Rescue or Westheimer Animal Clinic Bellaire.

Pictures of Cesar are below.  WARNING: THESE PICTURES ARE GRAPHIC! (Photo 1 ... Photo 2 ... Photo 3)

“Too often, perpetrators of animal cruelty are young kids, and I just don’t understand why.  I do know this has gone on too long in our City and it needs to stop.  HPD is going to collaborate in every way it can to prove that a split-second decision to act out on an animal can impact your life in a negative way,” said Sgt. Virginia Brasher of the Houston Police Department. 

BARC is assisting the Houston Police Department and Harris County District Attorney’s Office in the investigation of these despicable crimes to ensure charges are filed and justice is served.  As BARC emerged from its recent organizational transformation, it has become an effective partner to assist law enforcement prosecute this terrible behavior.  HPD, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and BARC have recently begun a new effort to more effectively address animal cruelty in the City of Houston.  The group will explore every possible way to reduce the incidence of animal cruelty and to ensure offenders face consequences for crimes against voiceless victims.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Belinda Smith: “Prosecution of animal cruelty cases used to be challenging due to uncoordinated efforts between HPD, BARC, and the D.A.’s office.  We’ve formed a new and strong relationship, and we are absolutely serous about prosecuting animal cruelty cases to the fullest extent of the law.”

David Atencio, BARC General Manager: “BARC is going to support HPD and the District Attorney to put a stop to this despicable behavior.  We see too many of these cases, it absolutely breaks our heart.  Thankfully, our medical and outreach team is able to work with great rescue and foster organizations to give some kind of future to some of these abused animals.  But this has to stop.  Houston is an amazing city.  We should not accept this in our hometown anymore.  It has to stop.”

To contribute online to BARC via the Houston BARC Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, please visit www.houstonbarcfoundation.org.

The simplest, but most powerful thing you can do to help the BARC Houston shelter, and pets throughout our community, is to talk to your friends, neighbors, and family about caring for pets responsibly.  We encourage everyone to visit the new www.houstonbarc.com.