Abandoned Dogs Are Taken To Shelter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/16/05-Smith County

Abandoned Dogs Are Taken To Shelter

Three dogs are in a warm place tonight, after being out in the cold for two weeks. The animals were abandoned and left tied up in the backyard of a home on FM 850 at the intersection of FM 2607 in Arp. Monte Murph, who lives next door to the home, has been feeding the dogs. He says the owners took off all of a sudden two weeks ago, leaving the animals with no food, water or shelter. Murph as been trying to get the animals taken to a safe place. His efforts paid off today.

"They're gonna be happier than they were over here," said Murph, as the dogs were put in cages. It was a bitter-sweet goodbye for Murph. He says during the time he's been feeding the animals, he's grown attached to them. "I'm gonna miss them. I mean they were out here for two weeks," he said.

He says every agency he called referred him to someone else, leaving the dogs with no one to help them. Murph says he had to dig into his Christmas fund to help feed the animals. "The Sheriff's Department came out here. I guess they took some pictures of it," he said. Murph says he also called the Humane Society of Smith County and Animal Control. "We called and they told us to call so and so and just passed it on to everybody else."

This afternoon, Precinct 4 Smith County Constable Dale Geddie and another constable deputy showed up to take the animals away. Geddie says he couldn't take action any sooner because he first had to make sure the dogs had been abandoned. That's standard procedure in cases of alleged abandonment.

In this case, the animals were outside during some of coldest weather we've seen this season in East Texas. Is there something that could have been done for them to be taken to a safe place earlier? "We can't legally take somebody's dog until we've legally established that they've been abandoned," said Geddie. "We're not in the business of going out and stealing people's dogs."

Geddie says the dogs' owner will most likely be charged with animal cruelty, which carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and or a $4,000 fine.

Officials with the Humane Society told us this afternoon, the dogs are in "pretty good condition." The pit bull will be euthanized if its owner doesn't claim him after 72 hours. The other two dogs will be evaluated to see whether they'll be put up for adoption.

Oralia ortega reporting, KLTV 7 news.

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