Burned puppy probe ending: Sheriff to send report to D.A.; no arrest made

BROWNSVILLE — The Cameron County Sheriff’s Office said it will be up to the district attorney to decide whether charges will be filed in the case where a 2-month-old pit bull puppy was doused with hot oil.

Authorities said yesterday no arrest had been made in the incident that happened last week at an Olmito home.

Sheriff Omar Lucio said upon further investigation it seemed the owner didn’t mean to douse the puppy with hot oil on purpose.

“It was learned that immediately after the injury was sustained, the canine was brought to its owner, who did in fact render aid to the canine,” Lucio said. “It appears the injuries sustained were not intentional, it was a terrible accident.

“The investigation is coming to a conclusion and a report of it will be forwarded to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office for any consideration of any possible criminal charges.”

Immediately after the incident was reported, the sheriff indicated that charges could be filed in the case.

Under the Texas penal code, animal cruelty is considered a state jail felony punishable by jail time and a fine as much as $10,000.

According to a Sept. 14 Facebook post made by Brownsville Animal Shelter Supervisor Nellie Zamora, the burned puppy was found at the dog park next to the shelter and was immediately taken to the Harlingen Humane Society to receive medical treatment.

Harlingen Veterinarian Technician Donja Rodriguez said the puppy was a little dehydrated and in pain, and had severe burning on his neck, top of his head and part of his back.

Rodriguez said unless the owner can cover the puppy’s medical expenses and the court deems so, she will not be handing the puppy back.

“Even without the incident that caused the dog to be taken to the shelter, the dog has received no vaccines, no dewormer, and the State of Texas requires that the pet owner vaccinate their dog once a year by a licensed Texas veterinarian for rabies, and that had not even been done.”

Rodriguez said the dog has not been microchipped either.

“There’s plenty of evidence that he wasn’t (taken care of) by the owner’s admissions and the vet’s findings,” Rodriguez said.