Fourteen dead dogs found dumped in NE Houston

February 17, 2010 3:39:51 PM PST
Houston Police and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are trying to get to the bottom of a sad discovery in northeast Houston. More than a dozen dogs found dead, their bodies dumped near the Eastex Freeway and Greens. Investigators say since these dogs' bodies were left here for such a long period of time, there was not much evidence left behind. That's why they're hoping that someone will come forward.

It is a scene too disturbing to be shown on camera. Fourteen dogs killed, wrapped in clear plastic bags and dumped like garbage in the woods near Highway 59 and Greens Road.

"Someone dumped it with the intention of sending a message. The message is irrelevant," said Houston SPCA Chief Investigator Charles Jantzen. "Any time you have animals that are dying based on someone trying to send a message, it's typically not a good thing."

The dogs appear to be adult shepherd mixes, dumped at the location at different times. All are badly decomposed, so investigators say they can't retrieve evidence that might lead to the killer. But they are confident the dogs did not die of natural causes.

Deputy Christine Kendrick with the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office explained, "For this many animals, at the same location, the same type of breeds, something's going on. It's just going to be really difficult to figure out what that is."

Investigators with the SPCA and Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office are working on the case with HPD. They say animal dumping in Houston is nothing new.

"We get reports of dumping dead dogs in Houston about once a month," Jantzen said. "They're all over the city. There's been really no pattern developing."

But investigators say this case is different because it involves so many animals in a location where this has not happened before. They now plan to conduct surveillance in the area, but they say a tip from the public is what they will likely need to solve this case.

"There's not a lot we can do at this point," Kendrick said. "Hopefully there's a citizen out there that knows something that can tell us some more information."

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722. You can give information to the SPCA anonymously.

Officials add that none of the dogs had any kind of tags or any way of tracing them back to their owners.

The discovery comes just one week after law enforcement agencies talked about an animal cruelty and anti-dog fighting campaign. Officials with Crime Stoppers call it the "corridor of cruelty" -- an area of town where dead dogs involved in dog fighting are often found dumped. The so-called corridor of cruelty is an area near the Eastex Freeway and Parker, just a few miles south of this sad discovery.