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Little Paddington the Shih-Tzu was neglected to death.  He was surrendered to the City of Waco (edited) early in December by owners who claimed they had him for 12 years.  Upon surrender, Paddington had a tumor with oozing pustules, which was approximately half his body weight, growing up the length of his leg and encircling his entire paw.   Emaciated and suffering, he had been kept in a crate for an undisclosed amount of time.  Urine and feces were matted to his skin and had caused open sores.  The flesh of his leg had rotted due to the tumor’s constriction of the blood flow, and according to veterinary staff as well as several others, he was in excruciating pain.   

Upon surrender, a rescue group was contacted and immediately agreed to take him. Within 48 hours of his surrender, he was seen at an emergency pet hospital and after a thorough examination, it was discovered he had advanced stages of cancer that could have been stopped entirely if he had been treated earlier. Because his neglect had gone for so long without care, Paddington was humanely euthanized to end his suffering.     

We cannot and MUST NOT allow cases like Paddington’s to go unpunished.  Our laws must be tougher, more defined, and utilized better to ensure animals receive adequate care.   I am asking officials to further define standards for pet ownership as well as harsher minimum punishments.   While we can appreciate the need to re-home a pet, willful and criminal neglect should NEVER be tolerated, even in pets surrendered to a shelter. 

I am asking Texas lawmakers to re-evaluate our current animal cruelty laws and make reporting cases of neglect mandatory for animal shelters, law enforcement officials and another other agency in which animals are surrendered, housed or seen, with standardized investigative procedures and harsher minimum punishments.   In California and other states, strict laws are being passed, as noted in the link below.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/woman-charged-abandoning-dog-42-pound-tumor-44202501

Authorities in California are working with shelters and the public to ensure there are consequences for willful neglect.  It’s time Texas did the same.   Please help me bring this to the attention of our lawmakers.  Paddington and countless other pets need us to speak for them because they can’t speak for themselves.     



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