Archive for the ‘Houston’ Category

Texas Woman To Serve Six Month Prison Sentence For Stabbing Dog

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Joanne Lee Hinojosa, a Texas woman, was sentenced to six months in prison with ten years deferred abjudication for stabbing her ex-husband’s dog 27 times.

Hinojosa pleaded guilty to the 2006 stabbing of Marti, a 20-pound mix. She went to her ex-husband’s house and started to yell at him. Hinojosa then took Marti in the house, where she was later found with a knife sticking out of her side.

Marti had to be later euthanized because of her injuries.

Hinojos’s lawyer said she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the dissolution of her marriage and from a bad childhood.


Texas Dog Owner Finds Piece Of Plastic In Beef N’ More Dog Food

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Beef N MoreAn East Texas dog owner found a piece of plastic in a can of Beef N’ More dog food. And he wants to warn other pet owners to be cautious of what is in your pet’s food.

Last month, William Sikorski opened up a can of Beef N’ More dog food and found the foreign object. He said he normally mixes canned dog food with dry dog food and found it by accident.

Sikorski contacted Beef N’ More, which is based in Texas, and they sent him a refund check in the mail. But Sikorski said that a check is simply not enough.

He stated, “It’s more than a check, it’s the point that something that was foreign was found in the dog food which, doesn’t need to be there. I want to be sure that the company is doing their part so it won’t happen again.”


Man Dies After Accidentally Shot By Dog

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Mistrial Declared In Cat Shooting Case

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

StevensonThe trial of a birdwatcher accused of animal cruelty for shooting a cat ended in a mistrial yesterday after a verdict could not be reached by jurors.

Jim Stevenson, the founder of the Galveston Ornithological Society, admitted he shot a cat because he saw it hunting a threatened species of bird.

Stevenson stated that he thought the cat was a feral cat and was a threat to the birds, so he decided to shoot the cat. But a toll bridge worker claimed that the cat was his and that he took care of it which would make him the cat’s owner.

A Texas state law bars the killing of domesticated animals without the owner’s permission. If Stevenson was convicted, he would have faced up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The jury deliberated for 8 1/2 hours before the judge declared the case a mistrial.


Houston Doctor Saves Dogs Across The Globe

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Dogs Ethiopia

Dr. Anteneh Roba, a Houston trauma care doctor, not only rescues humans, but he saves the lives of dogs also. Roba, who was born in Ethiopia, saves “cave dogs” in Ethiopia that would otherwise die.

The Gido Washa cave in Ethiopia has been used as a place to abandon unwanted dogs. Each month, many dogs have died in the cave until July when the Homeless Protection Society stepped in to save the last four dogs in the cave.

But no one wanted to adopt the four rescued dogs, who had been named Haley, Tommy, Maria, and Hannah. Roba, who funded the rescue, then paid to bring the four dogs to Houston to look for new homes.

Roba wants to bring awareness to animal welfare, both in the U.S. and globally. He said, “That’s what I’m doing - that’s my responsibility. Someone has to take care of the animals. They have no voice. We’re their voice.”


Woman Offers Convertible For Missing Dog

Monday, October 15th, 2007

Pork ChopMany pet owners would do anything and everything if their pet went missing. Latasha Armendariz is one of these pet owners.

This San Antonio woman offered her Mustang convertible as a reward when her bulldog, Pork Chop, went missing. The two-year-old dog went missing from her front yard, and Armendariz was devastated.

Initially, she offered a $500 cash reward for her dog, but it was unsuccessful. Then, she decided to offer up one of her most prized possessions — her Ford Mustang convertible. She had spent thousands of dollars customizing the car and had just finished paying it off.

Sure enough, Armendariz got a call last week from a man saying that he had found Pork Chop. As promised, she gave the man her car keys right before she and her children hugged their beloved dog.


Woman Provides Cat, Her Best Friend, With Lavish Life

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

BuddyDo you spoil your cat? And if you admit to spoiling your cat, what do you do?

Valerie Maros, a Texas woman, spoils her best friend, her cat Buddy.

To celebrate Buddy’s 16th birthday, she took out a full-page ad in her local newspaper announcing her cat’s special day.

Maros said she has two homes, and both of the homes are actually Buddy’s. She added that he simply allows her to live with him.

This Himalayan mix has ten beds to sleep on between his two homes. He even has a $500 wooden bed in one of the rooms, and above the bed hangs a custom oil painting made especially for this pampered cat.

Maros has a custom photo of her best friend above her bed, and she wears custom designed jewelery with images of Buddy adorned on them.


Suit Filed To Stop City’s Plan To Move Austin’s Animal Shelter

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007


On Monday, the City of Austin’s controversial plan to relocate Austin’s animal shelter from downtown to a lot in East Austin hit a major roadblock: the affected neighborhoods from both East and West Austin, along with advocacy group, sued the City in a Travis County District Court to block the move.

The lawsuit alleges that the City’s plan violates the Texas Open Meetings Act by failing to have a public, properly noticed, democratic process to determine the new shelter’s location. As evidence, the group pointed to an e-mail from Animal Advisory Commission Member Babette Ellis to Council Member Betty Dunkerley, asking her to “cement the [East Austin] site” as quickly as possible before “the community there” is ‘awakened’ to any issues.”

The City’s plan to move its animal shelter to an industrial site near Airport Road and East 7th Street has been met with consistent and heavy criticism from local animal-welfare advocates. Ryan Clinton, President of FixAustin, said, “Moving an animal shelter away from its primary adopters will lead to fewer visits, fewer adoptions, and more killing.” FixAustin has strongly urged the City to rebuild the shelter at its current Town Lake location.


Dog Fighting DVDs On Sale At Houston Gas Stations

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Dog fighting DVDsWhen Houston resident Jonathon Paull was getting gas at a Southeast Houston gas station, he noticed dog fighting DVDs were on sale in the store.

Paull was completely shocked that these were being sold and displayed so openly. He said: “And they glamorize hurting animals and it’s sick. It’s disturbing and I’m outraged. This whole subculture of hurting and killing animals is just absolutely disgusting.”

Selling of dog fighting DVDs is illegal and is punishable with fines and up to five years in prison. But the store clerks said the DVDs are big sellers.

A local legal expert said that law enforcement can only do so much. He added: “The federal government has shown more interest in the folks that are making these videos than selling them.”


Dog Euthanized At Shelter After Owner Claims Her

Friday, September 7th, 2007

LadyThis is another unfortunate and heartbreaking incident of a dog being euthanized even when the owner had already claimed the dog.

Lady (pictured here), a pit bull, went missing and was brought to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Texas. Jose Martinez went to pick up his dog. He went to Lady’s cage, identified her and even gave her a few pats on the head. Lady was excited to be reunited with Martinez and his son.

Martinez was asked to wait in the lobby while shelter employees processed the paperwork. But then he got some shocking news.

“The manager called me in, walked me into her office, closed the door and told me, ‘we just euthanized your dog’. Just like that,” Martinez said.

The interim shelter director said Lady was aggressive and tried to bite a couple of employees when they were trying to move her. That was why the shelter said they put Lady, who didn’t have any identification, down.

Except since her owner came to pick her up, the dog should not have been euthanized.


Texas Bird Lover On Trial For Cat Felony

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Jim Stevenson is the founder of the Galveston Ornithological Society and is an avid bird lover. He also is set to stand trial this month for a felony cat murder.

A jury may decide if Stevenson acted within his rights when he shot a feral cat that was preying on a bird.

It comes down to the feral cat versus bird debate. Stevenson struggled with the question if feral cats are pets or pests.

“They see it as a choice,” said Stevenson. “Does Jim shoot the cat or not shoot the cat? But that’s not the choice,” he said. “It’s a choice of who dies, the cat or the bird. By acting or not acting, I had to choose who dies.”

The incident happened in November 2006. Stevenson drove to the beach that was 15 minutes from his house. He saw some piping plovers, which are endangered birds, sleeping. A limping cat was about to come up on the birds when Stevenson appeared, and the cat escaped into the darkness.

He went home and went on the Internet to research Galveston’s city code. The code requires pets to have tags, and all pets are prohibited on the beaches. Texas penal law made it a crime to kill animals, but only those “belonging to another.” Stevenson felt like this cat that he saw on the beach was not someone’s pet because there were no tags and it was on the beach.

The next morning, Stevenson got his .22-caliber rifle, loaded into his Ornithological Society van, and decided to go cat hunting.


New Texas Dog Bite Law Goes Into Effect

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

A new Texas dog bite law went into effect on September 1. Pet owners will face felony charges if their dogs seriously injure or kill someone and could go to prison.

The new law came after the fatal mauling of a 76-year-old Central Texas woman.

Under the new law, the owner of a dangerous dog can still face misdemeanor charges if the animal injures someone. That same owner now can be on the hook for a felony and prison time if the victim dies or suffers wounds requiring hospitalization.

Eliminating the so-called free-bite defense, a dog’s first attack can be a felony offense – if the injuries are fatal or severe enough and if prosecutors prove the owner’s criminal negligence in not securing the animal.

Officials said this adds some sting to laws that are difficult to enforce, easy to disregard and that usually punish the dogs instead of their owners who are responsible for them.


Investigator Rules High-Diving Mules Not Animal Cruelty

Monday, August 20th, 2007

There has been a heated controversy over a Texas rodeo act called The All-American High Diving Aqua Mules. These high-diving miniature mules, Dipsy Doodle, Smokey and Ingrid, step off a 24-foot-high platform into a six-foot-deep pool at Lightning Ranch in South Texas.

Animal activists call this animal cruelty because the mules are old, ranging from 16 to 22-years-old. They want the act to be shut down. Activists said that it isn’t natural for mules to jump off a platform into water, and they are worried about their safety.

After looking at evidence of the diving mules, an investigator for the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office found that the mules used in these high-diving acts were not treated cruelly.

Deputy Shane Merritt said there was no animal cruelty because the mules are not prodded to walk off of the platform into the pool. He also added that these mules have been doing this for years as part of a traveling road show.

Bill Rivers, the owner of the All American High-Diving Mules said the mules are willing to do it and like diving. He added: “If they didn’t … People need to stop and think. We need to give the animals a little bit of credit for being intelligent.”

Rivers’s father started the act in the 1950s when he saw horses diving off of Atlantic City’s Steel Pier. The mules used to perform in county fairs, but due to the controversy, now they only perform at the ranch.

Rivers said that none of the mules have ever been hurt during the act. He said people should see the act before judging it.

Texas No-Kill Dog And Cat Shelter Could Close

Monday, August 20th, 2007


Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions (formerly Lago Vista PAWS), a no-kill shelter for stray and abandoned dogs and cats, is in jeopardy of closing its doors.

This Texas shelter only has about a week’s worth of operating funds left to care for their almost 400 animals. This non-profit shelter has been providing a safe haven for abandoned and abused animals for 10 years.

Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions runs on donor donations, with about 10 percent of their budget coming from the city of Lago Vista.

Currently, there are about 300 cats and almost 100 dogs living at the facility. Many of these animals have lived at the shelter for several years, while they are waiting for a home.

The staff and volunteers of Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions have become close to all of the animals and consider all of them extended family. These cats and dogs are not simply numbers on a piece of paper to them.

Animal shelter employees said they need $40,000 to stay up and running to provide care for all of their animals.

UPDATE (8/23/07): The shelter has enough funds and donations to last for another two weeks. They have around $8,000 in vet bills and will use some of the donations towards those bills. They have volunteers working on garage sales and fundraisers. They say that they are still living day-by-day and just hope that they can make it through this crisis.


Pictured: Popcorn, one of the cats being cared for at Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions

(Thanks Sharon)

Texas Cat And Dog Owners Want Discretion for Rabies Vaccinations

Friday, August 17th, 2007


A grassroots effort by pet owners in Texas seeks modification of existing law to allow senior and sick pets to forego state-mandated rabies vaccinations.

A petition recently presented to the Texas Department of Health Services, Zoonosis Control Department asks the Department to give attending veterinarians discretion in assessing the risk of rabies exposure versus the risk of an adverse or potentially fatal reaction to a rabies vaccine.

Supporters of the proposed change in policy hope that companion animals will qualify for an exemption if they previously submitted to at least two rabies shots and suffered adverse reactions, or if they are prone to reactions, or are in the care of a licensed veterinarian for a chronic or acute illness. The exemption would not excuse pet owners from licensing their pets according to local ordinances, but it would allow them to protect the animal’s health and remain in compliance with state law.

The Texas Department of Public Health adopted a 3-year interval between rabies vaccinations for dogs and one year for cats in 2003, bringing state law into accord with recommendations to curb unnecessary vaccinations made by many veterinary medical schools and professional associations. However, the final decision about the interval for rabies booster shots has been left to each individual community.

Many Texas counties and cities still require annual rabies vaccinations, regardless of the condition of the animal. No provision has been made for companion animals with acute or chronic health issues being treated by a licensed veterinarian.

All rabies vaccines licensed by the USDA specify on their label, “For administration to healthy dogs and cats.”


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