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Animal abandonment cases up 20 percent in Houston due to coronavirus pandemic

Nearly 200 animals have been abandoned in the Houston area since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.
Credit: Houston SPCA
Nearly 200 animals have been abaondoned in the Houston area since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.

HOUSTON — The COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on animals in the Houston area.

The Houston SPCA has investigated 187 animal abandonment cases since mid-March. That doesn’t include cruelty cases.

The SPCA attributes the 20 percent increase in abandonment cases to the dramatic shift in people’s circumstances due to the pandemic.

The latest case involved eight emaciated pets left behind in deplorable living conditions and sweltering heat inside a northwest Houston home. The puppy, four dogs, a chinchilla, a cat and a mouse were rescued Tuesday by the SPCA and HPD. They also discovered eight dead animals inside the home located near the 300 block of Tierwester Village Street.

Also this week, a starving, elderly thoroughbred mare was found on the side of a road. She was covered in motor oil, which is often improperly used to treat rain rot or other ailments. The horse named Aruba is being nursed back to health at the SPCA.

Last week, someone dumped a shepherd mix and a cat in a vacant field off Jensen and I-10. The dog was tethered to a very short leash and couldn’t sit or lie down. 

“Despite these uncertain times, there is no reason to leave an animal behind. None. It’s against state law and is cruel,” said Adam Reynolds, Chief of Animal Cruelty at the Houston SPCA. “There is a better solution. Reach out to the Houston SPCA or your local animal shelter, rather than leaving an animal to suffer or die and break the law.”

The Houston SPCA Animal Cruelty investigations team works with local law enforcement in Houston and 10 surrounding counties to battle animal cruelty and be a voice for the voiceless.

Report cruelty at 713-869-7722 or file a report at www.HoustonSPCA.org.

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