Animal cruelty investigation underway in La Villa

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An animal cruelty investigation is underway in La Villa after a stray dog was apparently shot last Saturday. Authorities are looking over a video posted online of the incident.

According to the Hidalgo County Sheriff Office, the dog, now named Pearl, was shot at around 4 p.m.

A witness, who chooses to remain anonymous, says the incident happened off of Pablo Garza Service Road.

The witness said a man “told his wife to get the gun,” and once she handed him the weapon, he shot the dog.

Video shows the dog running away from the house after allegedly being shot. The witness said the animal was not showing any signs of aggression.

The witness reached out to a shelter in Pennsylvania called PA Pitstop, and they took care of the medical expenses. Pearl is now recovering at Ram Spay and Neuter in McAllen.

Denis Klonis with PA Pitstop says Pearl spent the weekend recovering but was set for amputation on Monday. Klonis said the organization helps dogs from across the country, but says animal cruelty cases in Texas are rising.

“Things are not improving,” Klonis said. “They’re actually escalating. We have had more medical cases in the past five months than we did all year, last year.”

Palm Valley Animal Society Executive Director Donna Casamento said animal abuse is not uncommon, unfortunately.

“We get a lot of gunshot wounds,” Casamento said. “We get a lot of animals that may have been peppered with like pellets, fire pellets.”

With almost 1,000 animals in their care, she says they’re currently at total capacity. Since Animal Control has resumed standard procedures, Casamento says they’re taking in more animals and cases.

The rapid increase in pick-ups has been rough on shelters and animals in the community.

So far, no arrests have been made regarding this case of animal abuse.

The Palm Valley Animal Society emphasizes that if you see a stray animal, don’t be shy to take it to a vet or a shelter.


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