VERIFY: Do animal shelters have to report abuse?

(Warning: Video may be disturbing.) Disturbing video posted on social media shows three dogs at the Harris County Animal Shelter with horrible eye and skin infections.

HOUSTON - Disturbing video posted on social media shows three dogs at the Harris County Animal Shelter with horrible eye and skin infections.

The pets were surrendered Monday.

After seeing the images on the Harris County Animal Shelter Volunteer Facebook page, several people contacted KHOU 11 News asking if cases like that are reported to animal cruelty investigators.

“If it was a possible abuse or neglect, we will report those to the authorities and hope those will be followed up on,” said Dr. Michael White, Director of the Veterinary Public Health Division of Harris County Public Health.

Dr. White said the recent case involving the three neglected dogs was reported. However, that does not mean the person responsible will face charges.

“Sometimes there’s not much that can be done legally because when they surrender the animal to the shelter, they’re somewhat protected from prosecution as would someone who surrenders a baby to a hospital,” he explained.

Unfortunately, White says he sees similar cases of neglect on a daily basis. About 20,000 animals are brought to the Harris County Animal Shelter every year.

“When we see things like this, it’s from someone who doesn’t treat an animal like a family member. We want to completely eliminate this type of situation where animals are left in the backyard. They may get food and water, but that’s all,” said Dr. White.

The three dogs shown on social media were picked up by A Chance to Bloom animal rescue. They will need extensive veterinary care and a foster home. To help, click here.

The Harris County Animal Shelter also encourages those interested in helping abused and neglected animals to foster through the shelter.

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© 2017 KHOU-TV


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