A concerned citizen called the sheriff’s communications center just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday reporting a dog inside of a cage, which had an apparent gunshot wound to the head and had been left with the cage partially in the roadway in the 100 block of Raley Road just off Veal Station Road, in Springtown.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the worst part of the call came when animal control officers arrived and discovered the deceased dog had 10 puppies abandoned inside the kennel with their deceased mother.
“These puppies were left defenseless and still nursing on their deceased mother,” Fowler said.
Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler said the mother dog was described as a 3-year-old red shepherd mix with a black muzzle, weighing about 35 pounds.
Kessler added the dogs were deliberately placed inside a wire dog kennel, with an egg crate glued to cardboard which was placed in the bottom of the kennel.
“There are currently seven female and three male puppies, approximately 7-9 days old,” Kessler said. “One of the puppies barely has its eyes open. They were covered in their mother’s blood from where she had been shot in the top of the head. The exit wound was located on the left side of her neck, leaving a large puddle of blood.
The mother was obviously malnourished and should have weighed at least 50 pounds. We also found an empty metal pan inside the crate.”
Fowler said a Springtown school bus driver originally discovered the dog and puppies while on the morning route. There were 11 elementary school children on board at the time, who are believed not to have witnessed the scene.
“Parker County does not have an animal problem,” said Fowler. “We have a people problem. It’s hard to imagine that someone would be so cruel as to execute any animal but to kill a dog with nursing babies and leave such a gory picture is beyond human imagination.”
The puppies were released to the care of Angels & Outlaws 2nd Chance Bully Ranch in Hico later Wednesday. The organization’s director said the puppies have been evaluated by a veterinarian and are being hand-nursed until they are healthy and weaned so they can be adopted.
Anyone with information pertaining to this case or with knowledge of the dog owner(s) is urged to contact the Parker County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 817-594-8845 or the Parker County Crime Stoppers hot line at 817-599-5555.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and/or indictment of the suspect(s) involved. Callers cany remain anonymous.