No charges filed after puppies found shot
An investigation by the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office into four puppies found dead with gunshot wounds will not result in any criminal charges.
Kevin Roach, a SCSO deputy, began an investigation Monday after discovering the puppies strewn across a gravel road. He eventually found the person believed responsible, but Sheriff Will Holt said no charges were filed because under state law, a crime was not committed.
“They have the right to put an animal down. It is not against the law to put a pet or animal down,” Holt said. “If they do not want to do that, then they need to know that it is safe to take the animal to an animal shelter and tell them ‘I don’t know what is wrong with it.’”
Holt said the owner of the puppies feared the dogs were too ill to treat and decided to euthanize them, which is legal in the state of Texas. Holt said situations like this can be used to educate the public and let citizens know all of their options when it comes to dealing with sick animals that may be too expensive to treat.
“We try to educate the public about what they can do,” Holt said. “Folks that have a sick animal may not know what to do if they have a sick animal and need to put it down or if they can take it somewhere and relinquish ownership of that animal and see if the animal society or humane shelter can make it better.”
Stephen County Animal Welfare Center Director Kathy O’Shields said its animal shelter is specifically for animal owners who are out of options when it comes to caring for their pets and they should be the first call animal owners make before making a rash decision.
“We would have stepped in and helped … Before you take drastic measures, please call and ask for help. The shelter is here to help,” O’Shields said. “… We don’t turn people down. We will take puppies. We do transports with Colorado with two groups we work with.”
O’Shields said sending an animal to a shelter is not a death sentence to the animal.
“We’re as close to a no-kill shelter as you can be,” O’Shields said. “The only time we euthanize is when they are sick beyond something we can afford to treat, something major, they are in pain or they are un-adoptable because they are too aggressive and may tear someone’s head off.”
Those interested in dropping off an animal, adopting an animal or donating to the animal shelter can contact them at (254) 559-2106.