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Hidalgo Co. Woman Helps Neglected Dogs

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SAN JUAN - A Rio Grande Valley woman said she spent the weekend trying to help five dogs that appeared to be abandoned with no food or water.

Resident Trisha Manal said every day she walks past a home on the corner of 11th and Nebraska Streets in San Juan.

“Every day I come by here and I check several times. So, I don’t know how much longer these dogs have,” she said.

Manal said she’s never seen any of the five dogs with a water or food dish. She said they’re all tied up, some of them with a lock and chain, and others with a rope.

She said one of the dogs barely had any room to move around.

“It’s been twisted around the tree. So, no one’s come out here to fix it or take care of it,” Manal said. “So, these dogs are being neglected.”

Manal said all the dogs stayed outside all weekend as it rained. She said she felt bad for one dog specifically.

“It’s a short-haired Chihuahua. It was outside the entire weekend shivering,” she said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS tried knocking on the door Monday to talk to the owners, but both gates in the front and back of the house were locked. Manal said she also tried all weekend, but without success.

We went to San Juan City Hall where Manal said she filed a report with animal control. San Juan city manager Benjamin Arjona said the dogs will be taken care.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS also wanted to know what the law says about dogs being kept outside.

The Texas Health and Safety Code mandates impounded animals be provided food and water. It also states dogs cannot be restrained by a length shorter than 10 feet or five times the length of the dogs.

Manal said she’d find out more suitable homes for the dogs herself if she could. However, we found out it’s the city’s job to determine whether they need a new home or not.

Arjona said the law also states that animal control or police must give the owner a written notice of violation of those animal protection laws. If the owner does not comply within 24 hours, they are subject to a Class C misdemeanor. The count will go up to a Class B misdemeanor in case of repeat offenses.

Arjona said each dog can constitute a separate charge.

The San Juan city manager added anyone with concerns about how animals are being treated in city limits can call the Animal Control Department immediately at 956-223-2220 or for voicemail at 956-223-2471. 

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