The Cruel and Unusual Building of the Texas Horse Park

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Dylan Hollingsworth
Kevin Woods wanted to work with the Texas Horse Park. He ended up getting stampeded by it.
Hunched over a table at a Jack in the Box, Kevin Woods doesn't look much like a cowboy. No hat, no belt buckle, no boots, not a horse in sight. Here, tucked between a cluster of warehouses and a bustling urban highway, is about as far from the open range as a Texan can be. With his plain red T-shirt lightly dusted with sheetrock, and his calloused hands entwined in front of him, he looks like the home-repair contractor that he is. But it's a cowboy's blood that runs through Woods. This is a man who's broken wild mustangs and wrestled half-ton steers to submission in soft dirt, who can rope a calf and shoe a horse, who's as comfortable in the saddle as behind the wheel of a truck.

Woods was born into farm life in Stamps, Arkansas, a hollowed-out agricultural town a few miles north of the Louisiana border. He left as fast as he could, fleeing for Toledo, Ohio at 14. He took with him his fondness for horses and livestock, but his passion lay fallow for several years as he clawed for survival. He slept on the streets and rummaged through garbage cans for scraps before he fell in with a gang, started dealing drugs and pulled himself out of homelessness.

"I was one of the drug dealers you didn't want to meet on the streets," he says. "I'm the one Momma warned you about. You know, like I said, I was taught in the school of hard knocks."

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Dallas' Animal Shelter Is Chock Full of Really Cute Animals, and That's the Problem

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Emily Mathis
This kitten is wearing a sparkled bow tie, for pete's sake. You know you want him.
The first sight at the Dallas Animal Services shelter is a group of kittens tumbling on each other as they play in a plate glass cage. Beyond that, and closest to the entrance, are the young, healthy, friendly, especially cute and wide-eyed cats and dogs. Parents with young kids peruse the rows of cages. Some animals reach through the bars of their cage to playfully bat at passerby, while others make their best please-love-me eyes.

But while families casually walk past the rows of animals, Dallas Animal Services workers quietly cross their fingers that the pets will each be adopted as quickly as possible -- especially the older, less cute ones. Because as Unfair Park recently detailed, DAS is currently stressed with near unbearable numbers of animal surrenders and strays.

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Dallas' Animal Services Department Is Hot, Tired, Cranky, and Killing Too Many Dogs

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Mark Graham
Cash-strapped Dallasites are leading more people to give up their pets.
Blame it on the Texas heat, summertime relocations or more cash-strapped Dallasites: Whatever the root cause, local pet owners are increasingly giving their animals up to shelters. And during the summer months, more animals tend to escape from their homes and are brought to the shelter as strays.

Between the strays and the surrenders, Dallas Animal Services reports this week that they've been taking in more than 100 animals a day. With just a 650 animal capacity, space is quickly running out. The online community is exploding with frustrated Dallas residents, and Dallas Animal Services employees are clearly nearing a breaking point.

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Dallas Couple Who Lost at Least 50 Dogs in a Fire Treated Animals Well, Neighbors Say

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Amy Silverstein
The people who lived here are expected to survive, but they've lost most of their pets.
The 15 dogs that survived an early morning house fire in East Dallas on Tuesday appeared to be well cared for, and other than the two being treated for possible injuries related to the fire, all appear healthy, Dallas Animal Services manager Jody Jones says.

A husband and wife lived with dozens of dogs -- one report says more than 70 -- in their home on Grandview Avenue. The survivors appear to all be Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes, Jones says.

The fire department says an electrical problem with the air conditioner is the fire's likely cause. The husband and wife were taken to a local hospital suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. They're expected to survive, but they lost at least 50 of their dogs in the blaze.

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Mailman Who Allegedly Hit Yorkie With a Rock Faces Animal Cruelty Charges

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Cbalentine
This is a Yorkie (not Maxwell, but still). The mail carrier in question was scared of a Yorkie.
Fort Worth police say an arrest warrant has been issued for the mail carrier accused of hitting a couple's Yorkie with a rock, injuring it badly enough that it had to be put down.

Lawrence and Taiesha Brown told police on May 17 that their dog Maxwell was injured after wandering across the street into a neighbor's yard. Initially, Lawrence wasn't sure what happened or whose dog had been injured, and asked the letter carrier what happened.

"I asked him, 'What did you do to that dog?'" he told NBC 5. "He said 'I got me one,'" Brown says. "I said, 'You got you one? Did you mace him?' He said, 'No, I hit him with a rock.'"

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A Great White Shark is Coming Straight for Texas, Will Probably Devour Us All

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On Sunday afternoon, a "ping" from a tracking device confirmed scientists' suspicions: Katherine, a 2,300-pound great white shark tagged last August off of Cape Cod, is headed straight for Texas. Right now, she's about 100 miles from the Florida panhandle. In another week, she could be past the Mississippi. Then, Texas. A second great white, Betsy, is hot on her tail fins.

Researcher Bob Hueter is delighted. The data relayed by the new real-time (more or less) tracking device is overturning scientists' long-held assumptions about great white behavior, he told the Houston Chronicle.

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Parker County Sheriff's Department Links Another Dead Dog to a Violent Human

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Dallas County Sheriff's Office
Marquael Greer
Last month, after police found a dog dead from a gunshot to the back of the head and abandoned in a cage with her 10 living, still-nursing puppies, Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler gave a general assessment of what went wrong : "We have a people problem," he said in a statement.

Just two weeks later, Parker County authorities have made an arrest in yet another dog killing. The were no gunshots this time. The dog was allegedly chucked out a window.

See also: In Parker County, an Executed Dog and 10 Orphaned Puppies

The investigation began in April, when police received a call about a domestic disturbance. A woman told police that she was sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle while her boyfriend Marquael Greer was driving.

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Fort Worth Vet Accused of Keeping "Euthanized" Dogs Alive Is Being Sued. Again.

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Dr. Lou Tierce's veterinary practice

Fort Worth veterinarian Lou Tierce has been sued by another dog owner who claims he kept her pet dog alive after telling her it had been euthanized. The lawsuit filed Monday claims that the doctor kept her pet Chihuahua Hercules alive and suffering for more than four months without her knowledge.

Kimberly Davis claims she was told by an employee at Tierce's clinic that Hercules was experimented on by Tierce before it was found during an April 29 raid of the clinic, according to news reports.

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In Parker County, an Executed Dog and 10 Orphaned Puppies

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Atchoo420
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.

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Dallas' Animal Shelter Could See Budget Cuts, Just Like Every Other City Department

Categories: Animal Welfare

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Animals Abused & Abandoned
Dallas has thousands of orphaned animals stuck in the shelter system, and a big corporation promised to help save some of them. Beginning last September, a PetSmart store in north Dallas opened up its doors to the Dallas Animal Services department, housing some of its "adoptable" dogs and cats. Every official involved says that the project, a partnership between PetSmart Charities and Dallas Animal Services, has been great so far.

Except it is taxpayer dollars that are funding much of that charity work, and the money wasn't actually available to Dallas Animal Services yet when they agreed to the project last year.

"The funding for that project never was given to us," by the city, says Jody Jones, the manager of Dallas Animal Services. "So we had a choice to make." Seeing the off-site adoption center as good opportunity, she chose to sign on.

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