Animal Welfare

A Tethered Dog Starved to Death Behind an Oak Cliff Home, Then Lay There For a Week

This morning, an animal control officer responded to a complaint concerning the house at 6224 Silvery Moon Drive in Southeast Oak Cliff. There, the officer found a dog in the backyard, tied to the fence with no food or water in sight.

He was about a week too late. The dog died of starvation last Friday and had lay there until a neighbor finally called animal control. The details in the police report are scant, noting only that no one answered the officer's knock. The dog's breed is not listed.

According to DCAD, the house belongs to one Annie Phelps and a handful of police reports she's filed in the past -- two concerning vandals dumping out her garbage, one reporting the theft of her electric meter -- indicate that she did indeed live there.

They also indicate that she was in her mid-60s, which leads one to suspect that this wasn't an act of deliberate cruelty but perhaps the result of a medical emergency or something of that nature. But who knows. DPD spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez said any investigation will be conducted by the animal control.

In a separate incident this morning, animal control officers responded to a home in Oak Cliff, where they took possession of a cat that had been mangled by a steel claw trap. Gutierrez said the resident had put it out to catch whatever was eating his chickens, either not knowing or not caring that use of the traps are illegal under a state statute barring cruelty to non-livestock animals.

And that should wrap up the day's sad animal news. You wouldn't want you to knock off for the holidays too high-spirited.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson