In case the almost six full days that have elapsed since a gunman killed six students at the University of California at Santa Barbara has allowed for the reemergence of some positive feelings about humanity, then allow the Parker County Sheriff's Department to strangle those warm fuzzy feelings with a piano wire.
According to a department news release, deputies were called to Springtown at around 6:30 Wednesday morning to a report of a dog in a cage that was partially blocking Raley Road.
The dog, a red shepherd mix with a black muzzle, about 3 years old and a malnourished 35 pounds, was dead, having been shot in the head.
Her 10 puppies were not. Deputies found them in the cage, covered in their mother's blood, still nursing.
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Sheriff Larry Fowler does a pretty solid job of summarizing the situation in the news release:
Parker County does not have an animal problem. We have a people problem. It's hard to imagine that someone would be so cruel as to execute any animal, but to kill a dog with nursing babies, and leave such a gory picture, is beyond human imagination.
The puppies, 7-9 days old, were taken to a place called Angels & Outlaws 2nd Chance Bully Ranch in Hico, where they are being hand-nursed. The department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the executioner.
The one piece of good news, if you can call it that, is that the 11 elementary-age kids on the school bus whose driver first found the cage didn't see the carnage.