nATIONAL ANIMAL RELIEF AND WELFARE ASSOCIATION, Inc WELFARE - TRUST- RIGHTS- ETHICS CHANGE GONNA COME!
There is no doubt that these five puppies suffered at the hands of an abusive "owner". In fact, due to the extreme nature of the cruel negligence in this case one of the puppies lost their life. Garnet did not survive. She died of heart failure as the result of contracting disease from being confined in a small cage and starved.
There are positive outcomes from this case, though. The dogs were seized and other lives were saved as a result. Safe in Texas rescue and Ursula, their foster, took care of the survivors and nursed them back to health. They have grown and thrived with a bit of care. Possibly the most important thing that happened as a result of working this case is that the eyes of Corpus Christi officials seemed to open up. Suddenly, they seemed to notice what such extreme cases looked like and what the end result could be if those who commit such crimes are not pursued and charged appropriatly.
Initially the officer who handled this case charged one count of misdemeanor cruelty. After speaking to our contact there who worked this case, Karla Loften, we were connected with Officer Mills. We discussed with him the state statute on cruelty and how the disease these dogs caught, Chagas disease, is only transmitted through the feces of kissing bugs if ingested or from mother to puppy. Suddenly he began asking questions, which is rare for those in law enforcement especially on animal crimes.
Officer Mills took information/evidence to the DA and had the charges against the offender increased. There are now multiple counts of cruelty charged and there has been an upgrade to FELONY charges filed as well. However, the officials in Corpus Christi didn't let it go at that. They began to discuss ways to better catch such cases and effectively prosecute them. These discussions have led to NARWAI working with Officer Mills and other officials to improve enforcement. They have expressed a desire to create an "animal cruelty task force". Previously one officer handled animal crimes, alternating every six months. Further, they have expressed that they want the officers who are part of this unit to be fully trained on the state's law on animal cruelty and maximum enforcement. NARWAI is submitting facts regarding this specific case as well as animal cruelty crime in general to help Corpus Christi achieve this goal. Further, they have asked to be connected to the FBI to report felony animal cruelty. Corpus Christi has taken major steps and we applaud them!!
This is a win-win for the county! The increased fines, fees, etc. collected on cases can be used to offset any expenses incurred in the policy change. Most importantly, they have the opportunity to stop those who, according to studies, may escalate and commit even worse crimes. Studies show that often violence against animals escalates or has a correlation to violence against humans.
We COMMEND CORPUS CHRISTI for taking a stand against animal cruelty! We recognize that OFFICER MILLS WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY to appropriately address this case. It is our hope that he gets the opportunity to "lead up" this animal cruelty task force that is being considered!!!
Above is five severely neglected pups, pic taken at location of seizure.
BUT....Below is the amazing transformation after a bit of TLC!