Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force becomes the voice for abandoned, abused animals

Houston’s animal over-population problem is one of the worst in the country.

Studies show 50 percent of Houstonians recognize this as one of the main problems in our city. It affects the quality of life for humans, as well as animals.

FOX 26 was there when the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force served a warrant at a residence in Sunnyside.

“By failing to provide care for them, that’s actually cruelty to an animal,” a task force officer points out.

The task force has been investigating the homeowner for weeks.

“The homeowner failed to provide care for the dog, failed to make contact,” said task force member Bryce Curtis.

This man tells officers he is friends with the homeowner and the dogs in question belong to someone else.

The homeowner and the dog they are the most concerned about are both gone.

“The dog was here yesterday. It was a brown dog, brown pitbull, couldn’t walk on its hind legs. It was walking on its front paws,” the task force officer said.

The warrant allows the officers to take the dogs and cats that are still on the property.

“We have a cruel confinement issue, no shelter for them,” the task force officer points out.

He says one of the dogs seized was bleeding from the mouth, but it must have healed itself.

This is a known area for abandoned dogs.

No dog wants a life on the streets.

“Being threatened by people that abuse them, they get hit by cars, they become sick, there are so many animals that die alone on our streets everyday. They want to be rescued. They want to be in good homes,” said Tena Lunaquist, co-president of Houston PetSet.

As for the dogs taken from this residence, they will go to BARC and hopefully get adopted.

"She has the opportunity to get the dogs back if she wants to provide care for the dogs," said Bryce Curtis with the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force.

Dogs picked up by the cruelty task force are routinely taken to the Animal ER of Northwest Houston.

This dog's name is Max.

Instead of fixing the dog's broken leg, the owner surrendered him to the task force.

The investigation is on-going.

"I've had a broken bone. I've had a broken leg, and it was horrific. The pain he is in he's hiding very well," said Dr. Jennifer Hennessy with Animal ER of Northwest Houston.

"He's adjusted to that, which is sad. It’s definitely been broken for a while."

"Animals are victims of crimes just like everyone else, but they can't speak for themselves, said Sergeant Charles Jantzen with the Precinct 5 Animal Crimes Unit.

In a city the size of Houston and with the resources we have, this is a solvable problem," Lunaquist said. "The funding is here, we just have to be able to access it and we have to tell people how bad their city is in regard to animal welfare.”

There are things we all can do to help. For more information visit www.927paws.org or call 832 927 PAWS.