Story & Photo by Allan Jamail
Jacinto City, TX. – August 12, 2019 – College Student Cinthia Flores, in a statement made to NC Star writer Allan Jamail, said, “In the first place, people should never get a pet if they don’t have the means for caring for it properly. But if they get one and then later realize they can’t properly care for it, they should give it to someone who will. I’m on a strict college student budget but I still manage to save enough to provide shots, food and a healthy place for my pets.”
Dogs kept outdoors are the most common pets to be mistreated, 70 percent of animal cruelty cases is dogs. With daytime temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s, it doesn’t take long before a pet can have a heat stroke.
Warning signs of a heat stroke in a dog can be recognized by the early warning sign of their mouth becoming partially open and panting or breathing with short quick breaths like it’s out of breath. If their mouth becomes fully open with rapid pants it means the dog is on the verge of a heat stroke. It must immediately be cooled off by putting it in front of a fan or into air-conditioning and given fresh cool water. If the symptoms persist quickly get it to a veterinarian.
Dogs sweat and cool-off by drooling (dripping) from the mouth, small amounts of dripping from the mouth is normal but a constant large amount of drooling (sweating) is a sign of overheating and the dog cannot cool itself off without help; it will need lots of water to prevent dehydration (inadequate body fluids) and a heat stroke.
Abandoning an animal unreasonably and or leaving it in a hot vehicle, transporting or confining it in a cruel manner, permitting unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering or failing to provide fresh cool water, food and shelter for a animal to maintain a state of good health, are crimes.
Texas law provides filing animal cruelty charges either as a felony or misdemeanor, the severity of cruelty will determine which of the two types of charges will be filed against the pet owner or keeper of the pet. If convicted of felony animal cruelty punishment can be up to two years in jail and or a $10,000 fine. Also any animals in your direct care may be removed by a local humane society or law enforcement. You may be prohibited from owning animals in the future. Persons convicted under the age of 18 are also required to undergo counseling.
Phone numbers for reporting animal cruelty: Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 713-869-7722 (HSPCA), they also provide a 7/24 animal ambulance for injured animals at 713-880-HELP (4357) and Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force 832- 927-7297 (PAWS).
Texas criminal laws can be enforced by any law enforcement agency including animal cruelty laws. Phone numbers to keep in your cell phone for reporting any crime: Houston Police – 713-884-3131, Harris County Sheriff Office 713-221-6000, Jacinto City Police – 713-672-2455, Galena Park Police – 713- 675-3471, Constable Pct. 2 Chris Diaz – 713-477-4070, Constable Pct. 3 Sherman Eagleton – 713-274-2500.