The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals wants to increase the awareness of how to prevent and report animal abuse, doing so by declaring April “Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month,” and urge people to educate themselves and others about existing laws on unintentional abuse, which can lead to misdemeanor charges.
The animal law Web site defines animal cruelty as torturing, failing to provide food, care or shelter, abandonment, transporting or confinement in a cruel manner, killing, seriously injuring or poisoning, causing an animal to fight with another, using a live animal as a lure in a dog race, tripping a horse or seriously overworking an animal.
The Texas animal cruelty laws are unique in that they only apply to domesticated animals, and if prosecuted in a criminal case, the subject may face penalties including a fine, loss of freedom or both. These convictions are classified as a either a misdemeanor or a felony. Additionally, if a minor is convicted of the offense, they will be required to undergo counseling.
In April 2008, a young adult chow-labrador mix was picked up by the Palo Pinto Humane Society after reports that J.R. Rosamond, had dragged the dog behind his pickup truck.
Dr. Jacqueline Talley from the Pet Western Animal Hospital in Mineral Wells explained the dog’s injuries included its toenails worn off or shredded, the pads on his feet missing, abrasions on elbows, knees, the tops of his back feet and under his stomach.
Another animal cruelty case, right here in Weatherford, in June 2000, David Tracy Bradshaw was found guilty for violating the Horse Protection Act. Bradshaw attempted to show his horse while it was sore and was caught. He was fined $2,000 and disqualified for one year from showing, exhibiting or entering any horse in any show or exhibition, including judging and managing.
In July of last year, 11 out of 29 horses died of thirst and the owner, a Weatherford horse breeder, faces 11 counts of animal cruelty.
To see a detail explanation of 461 cases just in the state of Texas, visit www.pet-abuse.com.
A common occurrence for a lot of pet owners is to tether their dog, due to not having funds or the ability to install an adequate fence.
A person commits an offense by tethering any animal in such a manner as to cause injury or pain, being subjected to harassments, stings or bites from outdoor insects, or attacks by other animals. To view the complete list, visit the City of Weatherford Web site at www.ci.weatherford.tx.us., under animal control and animal protection.
To report animal abuse in the City of Weatherford, residents are urged to call 817-598-4111 or 911.
Some people find a fulfilling way to make a difference in the community is to volunteer at the animal shelter in your area. If time is not available, shelters are always in need of towels, food, cleaning supplies and cash donations, which are usually tax deductible.
Parker Paws is an all-volunteer group that works to increase pet adoptions and improve the quality of life for the animals in the Weatherford/Parker County Animal Shelter. This particular group is an all volunteer group that assists with the housing of unwanted and abandoned pets that arrive at the shelter. Most animals would not have found homes without the help of this group.
On most Saturdays, Parker Paws is at PetSmart in Weatherford, but has been known to be at Walgreens on some Saturdays. To find out where they will be each Saturday, contact the animal shelter at 817-598-4111 or visit their Web site at www.parkerpaws.org.
On May 10, the animal shelter will be having a low cost spay/neuter clinic. Anyone may call to receive the discounted price, but appointments are necessary by calling 940-566-5551.
The prices for dog sterilization ranges from $50 to $80, and for cats, $30 to $40. In order to sterilize a pet, the owner must provide proof of current rabies vaccination or purchase the vaccine at the discounted price of only $5.
There are additional charges for in season females, pregnant females and for male pets that have only one testicle descended. The Texas Coalition for Animal Protections has been providing this service since 1997.