Petition started in burned puppy case

BROWNSVILLE — A petition has been started online calling for Sheriff Omar Lucio and District Attorney Luis V. Saenz to stand up against animal abuse.

The petition wants charges to be filed against the person responsible for dousing a puppy with hot oil.

The 2-month-old pit bull puppy named Phoenix was discovered severely burned on Sept. 14, when hot oil was tossed on it.

The petition, started by Ashley Stryker, originally sought 1,000 signatures. By late Friday afternoon, more than 1,300 people had signed it.

Lucio said no arrest will be made in the incident and that it will be up to the office of Saenz to determine if charges will be filed in the case.

As of Friday afternoon, it has not been submitted to the D.A.’s office.

A portion of the petition reads, “The RGV has a disgusting mentality that animals are mere property and you can do whatever you please with them … The other misconception is ‘I’m poor, I can’t help it.’

“We see people on social media daily using websites like Go Fund Me, selling their possessions, holding a bake sale/plate fundraiser or simply asking for donations to pay a vet bill. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. No vet would turn away this precious animal in need of medical care because the owner couldn’t pay; they might take ownership of the animal but they would not slam the door in their face.

“Sheriff Lucio and D.A. Saenz, it’s time you stand up for the citizens of Cameron County and put an end to this abuse. Enough is enough!”

The posting says copies of the petition/letter will be delivered to Lucio and Saenz.

In an earlier interview, Lucio said that 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 injured puppy was first taken to the Brownsville Animal Regulation and Care Center. It was later transported to the Harlingen Humane Society, where it was treated for its injuries.

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.

The petition can be located at the following link: