Hidalgo Co. Cowboy Stricken by Animal Abuse Case
MERCEDES – The Hidalgo County Cowboy hopes to save an animal found chained to the side of a road.
Mercedes resident Teo Martinez said he frequently responds to calls of loose livestock. On Wednesday, he rescued a cow locked on the side of the road with a 25-foot chain tightly strapped around its neck.
“I think it’s one of the worse cases I’ve seen,” he said. “It was missing a nose, an eye, ears and it had maggots all around and inside his skin close to the forehead.”
The nearly 3-year-old Red Brangus weighed around 500 pounds. Martinez said it’s only a third of its expected weight.
Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado said people need to report all forms of animal neglect and abuse.
“A person can be arrested because it is against the law. And like I said, you know the best thing you can do is always report it. Get it off your hands. Report it,” she said.
Veterinarian Jack Valerius said the wounds appeared to be weeks old. He said injuries at such an advanced stage are treatable, but the animal will suffer and may not recover.
Martinez said there is no excuse for animal neglect.
“I believe they had enough time to heal her. There is no excuse in saying she was loose because it was chained. Second, there is no excuse in saying they couldn’t take her to a vet because we have a veterinarian in Mercedes,” he said.
Valerius recommended the cow be put down as it would continue suffering and likely not recuperate.
Mercedes police said they’re looking into the case and are working to track down the owner.
Maldonado said anyone convicted of animal abuse can face jail time.