Having installed a CCTV camera in a remote part of Dallas, Texas, police watched Gorge Spears pull up in his Infiniti sedan. Everything seemed normal until Spears allegedly did something that made officers sit up. In fact, they knew they had to track him down after what they saw on the tape.
The camera itself is set up at the intersection of Dowdy Ferry Road and Teagarden Road. It is a part of a wider scheme by the city authorities. In fact, there are cameras across the region, set up to monitor notorious illegal dumping grounds.
Dumping is a serious problem in Dowdy Ferry and has been for some time. Animal activists had argued for the cameras to be installed after dead pets were found there. Not only that, but human bodies have even been discovered in the area.
Part of the reason why Dowdy Ferry is so popular with people wanting to illegally dump stuff is its location. It’s close to the Trinity River, and although it’s not far from the city, it is still quite a secluded place. This might have been the reason Gorge Spears allegedly chose to stop here.
Although the cameras had been in operation for a short time already, what they apparently recorded was the first case of its kind. In the video, Spears can be seen driving in Dowdy Ferry before coming to a stop by the side of the road. Then he steps out and walks around to the rear passenger door of his car.
The video, which was shared on Facebook, appears to show Spears opening the door. Next, he grabs a leash and pulls a dog from the back seat of his car onto the roadside. He then leads the animal around the vehicle, away from the road, before getting back in his car.
Subsequently, Spears starts his car and drives away, apparently leaving the dog by the side of the road. In the video, the poor animal can be seen sniffing the ground and watching the traffic. The footage doesn’t show Spears returning to collect the dog.
Fortunately, the dog was found by some passers-by. As a result, Dallas Animal Services were able to take possession of the animal and keep it safe. Following inquiries, meanwhile, an arrest warrant was issued for Gorge Spears.
Consequently, Spears turned himself into police and was later charged with animal cruelty for allegedly dumping the dog. It transpired that Spears also had outstanding charges for traffic violations; indeed, between the two he faced bail of almost $2,500.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) were key to this story, having long argued for cameras to be erected. The SPCA, who later named the dog Claira-Belle, told WNCN that Spears had accepted he was involved. Apparently, he claimed to be doing his sister a favour “by getting rid of the dog because his sister was unable to control her.”
The organization went on to say, “It marks the beginning of a close partnership between the SPCA of Texas and the Dallas Marshal’s Office in ongoing efforts to crack down on animal cruelty in the Dowdy Ferry and surrounding areas.”
The SPCA continued, “Thanks to the witnesses who reported this case to the Dallas Police Department […] this sweet dog is now living in a loving new home and the person who abandoned her has been criminally charged. We encourage the public to report all first-hand information about suspected animal cruelty.”
The SPCA of Texas was founded in 1938 and has worked ever since for the benefit of the animals of the state. Its website features stories from people who have adopted abandoned pets like Claira-Belle.
All things considered, the story of Claira-Belle is one that has a happy ending. A witness reported seeing the dog, and SPCA workers arrived on the scene to help her to safety. By the time they found her, she’d become trapped after her leash had become snagged on some tree branches.
Having been rescued by the SPCA, Claira-Belle then found herself rehomed with a couple of loving owners. Reagan Henderson and her boyfriend went to the SPCA to adopt a dog and ended up with a new friend. “She was so sweet,” Henderson said. “We both knew we had to get her. [She’s] one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met.”
Mindful of the circumstances she was rescued from, Henderson doesn’t put her dog, now known as KD, on a chain. “No more chaining for KD ever again,” Henderson said. “All she wants to do is love on people and be loved.” Sadly, though, not all abandoned dogs are as lucky as this one.
Before the CCTV was set up at Dowdy Ferry, the numbers of both live and dead pets being dumped had become extremely disturbing. Marina Tarashevka, a dog rescuer, reckons that she found over 150 dead dogs in the space of just one year. She said, “I had no idea what was happening.”
Tarashevka went on to say, “I had been finding dogs [in Dowdy Ferry] in very bad shape, very injured, but I didn’t know the issue was so bad. And once I found the bags, there were just so many more.” Subsequently, Tarashevka was shocked at how many plastic bags contained animal bodies.
“There is so much to do there and so many dogs in need and new ones being dumped every day,” she said. “The city [of Dallas] simply isn’t doing enough. I just cannot keep up with it.” She added, “A few weeks ago, a woman dumped three Chihuahuas.”
Chief Deputy Marshal Paul Hansen said, “Dowdy Ferry has been a chronic dump location since I’ve been involved in environmental crime.” But change could be afoot. With the new CCTV in place and the high-profile coverage of Gorge Spears’ alleged actions, hopefully the illegal abandoning of pets will soon become a thing of the past.