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Update: Animals on Smith County Property Taken Away

POSTED: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 - 6:23pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 1:39am

SMITH COUNTY - Yesterday we brought you a story about dozens of animals living without food or water on a Smith County property.

Today we went back to County Road 2187 to find out what's happening to those animals.

Monday, when our crews responded to an anonymous tip about abandoned animals at this residence, we immediately saw several dogs on the property.

But Tuesday, this is what the place looked like: no animals were fighting over dog food, and no animals were huddling together for warmth.

The Smith County Sheriff's Department says the father of a man who used to live here picked the animals up this morning, but two dogs were left behind. One is a pit bull. Just one day ago, he was able to stand. Now he can barely open his eyes.

Sheriff's investigators say this dog and the other left behind will be taken to a veterinarian on Tuesday by the same man who took the other animals.

A representative from Smith County tells us the people who lived here were evicted.

Several Smith County agencies, including Animal Control and Environmental Enforcement, are involved in an investigation regarding the situation.

One Sheriff's deputy says he's not sure if charges will be pressed for leaving the animals because the owner says he planned to come back and get the animals.

The owner also told deputies he left enough food behind to help the animals survive until he could come back for them.

All one can hope is the animals won't have to huddle for warmth or fight for food anymore.

Again, deputies tell us they're not sure if anything criminal happened here.

They're being told by a man who used to live here that the animals were not abandoned, and he was trying to figure out how to take care of them.

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Something criminal happened. Not only were the animals further neglected by county officials entrusted to care for such victims, they were released BACK into the custody of a family member of their original abusers. That is unconscionable and were I not 300 miles away I would have picked them up myself.
If there was a lack of laws or ordinances on the books to allow animal control or other county personnel to remove the animals there should be immediate petitioning to draft and enact them.
This is inexcusable.

how could the sherrifs dept. say nothing criminal happened? those poor animals. did the pitbull on the 50lb chain live? someone needs to be held responsible. how could the county allow the 2 dogs to be left overnight in the freezing cold when one of them obviously needed medical attention?this bothers me very very much. thank you Allison Stephens of Rusk

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