From the evidence on the property, there could be no mistake that the rescuers were looking at a case of animal abuse. In fact, they had no doubt the dog had endured much suffering. But his true nature was revealed when he slowly approached the woman working to free his chains…
After a prestigious 75 years in service, the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Texas recently received media attention for its actions against serial animal abuse. What’s more, the non-profit charity is North Texas’ leading animal welfare group. It’s no surprise, then, that a concerned citizen alerted it to a potential situation.
Specifically, the caller informed the SPCA of Texas that there was something amiss at a home in Pleasant Grove, near southeast Dallas. But there was nothing pleasant about the home for the poor animals kept there. And it wasn’t the first time the organization had dealt with the owner of the property, either.
During November 2016, in fact, investigators for the SPCA had visited the home twice before, following complaints about animal neglect. After the initial visit, the only thing the organization could do was issue a follow-up visit. Following the second time at the home, however, the owners were given a warning.
After the second visit, then, the animals’ owners agreed to improve the treatment of their charges. But the case had been mired in red tape – and when the SPCA could finally take action, it found nothing had changed from its last visit. The non-humans living at the property needed help.
Then on December 1 the SPCA of Texas hit social media with some news. To be exact, the group uploaded videos to its YouTube channel and Facebook page with information about a number of animals it was rescuing from the Pleasant Grove home. Finally, then, better lives would surely come to the poor creatures at the residence.
In a joint effort with the SPCA of Texas, the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, animal control officers found two horses and one dog living at the address. Tragically, the body of another dog was also found.
“The live dog was found chained to a tree in the yard,” the SPCA of Texas wrote on Facebook. “None of the animals had appropriate food or water, and the living dog did not have shelter. The dog is emaciated and has wounds on its ears.”
The dog, which was a breed of pit bull, was approached by rescuers cautiously. After all, any animal put under horrible conditions can react unpredictably. They needn’t have worried, though, as the pooch showed no sign of aggression. In fact, his reaction actually surprised the officers.
As the animal control officer was cutting through the dog’s chains, he got up and sat down next to her. Then SPCA spokesperson Maura Davies revealed that he did something that both showed his gratitude in the gentlest way and melted the hearts of his rescuers.
She told The Dodo how the dog “put his paw up on her hands and come in for that kiss on her cheek.” And the sweet gesture was everything. “I’m always amazed by animals’ ability to respond to kindness even after cruel treatment,” Davies added.
“We also removed one deceased dog from the property and will be conducting a necropsy to attempt to determine the dog’s cause of death,” the SPCA of Texas wrote on social media. It, too, was a pit bull and was found in an unfinished garage.
The horses were also found living in the garage, which the SPCA stressed wasn’t the ideal environment for them. And just like the dog, they had their own health problems from neglect. “One horse is injured on its back left leg and is struggling to walk,” the charity explained.
“The other horse is thin; both horses have chipped hooves,” the organization added. All three of the rescued animals were seized by the SPCA of Texas and taken to an emergency rescue center. They’ll be cared for until their futures can be determined, and hopefully, within time, they can be put up for adoption.
When they were in safe hands, then, the animals were not only given the food, water and love they so desperately needed but also some new names. The horses were called “Pirate” and “Treasure,” while the dog picked his own name with the help of the SPCA veterinarian.
That happened when the vet called out potential names for the unshackled canine – and he responded when he heard the name “Buck.” “When our veterinarian called out that name, he lifted his sweet head,” Davies told The Dodo. It looked like Buck was going to enjoy life as a loved dog.
Meanwhile, FOX 4 News reported that it had spoken to a woman off-camera about the Pleasant Grove property. She told the station that she was renting the house with her husband and that they hadn’t been living at the property because of the renovations. Furthermore, she had something to reveal about the animals.
Specifically, she elaborated that the horses allegedly roamed free around the property but that they themselves had moved into the garage to shelter from the rain. And while the explanation left a lot of unanswered questions, they would be dealt with by the courts in December 2016, when the apparent owners of the animals will have a custody hearing.
Yet while it’s still to be determined whether the dogs and horses’ owners will face any criminal charges, the animals themselves don’t need to worry about being looked after anymore. Buck, for example, remains in the care of the SPCA of Texas’ Emergency Rescue Center in Dallas. Pirate and Treasure, meanwhile, are at a separate animal care facility further north, in the city of McKinney.
So, no matter what happens with the court ruling, we can only hope the animal victims in the Pleasant Grove case get to live the lives they were always meant to. After what they’ve been through, it’s the least they deserve.