Dogs with Matted Fur Rescued, San Benito Police Investigatin

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SAN BENITO – Police in San Benito are looking for the owner of two neglected dogs discovered wandering the streets.

Investigators said they are treating the situation as a possible animal cruelty case. 

Hansel and Gretel now look like two completely different dogs than just a few days ago, according to workers at the Harlingen Humane Society.

"(They were) completely matted up to the skin, that's extremely painful for dogs like this," said veterinary tech Kira Monroe. "The skin grows around, it'll grow around itself and it'll pull the skin."

The dogs also had very long nails and poor social skills.

San Benito Police Chief Michael Galvan told CHANNEL 5 NEWS a concerned citizen sent them a photo asking police to look into the possible animal cruelty case. They even provided an address for where the possible crime was happening.

"The officer went out there and tried to make contact with anybody that may have physically seen the dog themselves. And so far, to this date, this moment in time, we have not been able to locate anyone that has positively identified the dogs," Galvan said.

Galvan also said the picture went viral on social media, prompting calls from concerned people from across the country.

A woman from North Carolina who rescues dogs called CHANNEL 5 NEWS to voice her concerns.

"This picture of this poor dog, if there's even a chance that this is a true story, I'm hoping you guys will look into it a little bit," she said.

But police said they need more than a picture to make a case for these dogs. 

"It's a shame that the dog is in that condition. Whoever took that picture, their first priority should have been not taking the picture and putting it on Facebook, it should've been notifying police," Galvan said.

Monroe agrees. She said they see too many cases of animal neglect and abuse. She advised people to start reporting the crimes to police in order to get justice for these animals.

"We get messages day in and day out as a rescue group, you know, 'What do I do? This dog, you should come get it,'" Monroe said. "The first thing we say is call your local police department or call your local animal control because those are the right ways to go. Just going to pick up a dog is not the right way to do that."

Police have not been able to pinpoint an owner or owners of the dogs. Galvan said it's an open investigation.

Hansel and Gretel will stay at the Harlingen shelter getting the help they need.

“They just did their spay and neuter surgeries today. They got all of their vaccines and got micro-chipped," Monroe said, "so they're real good and healthy right now. The only thing they might need is a few more meals and socialization."

Galvan said in order to get convictions on animal cruelty cases, people need to start reporting these cases to police immediately.

Social media posts will garner attention, he said, but won't always lead to justice for the animal.


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