KCBD Investigates County Canine Crisis: County residents furious over dumped dogs

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock County residents who live in rural areas are fed up with animals being dumped near their property.

Terry Stokes lives in south Lubbock County and said she finds about a dozen dogs a year near her home that do not have a collar or a microchip.

Most recently, she found a six to eight-month-old puppy.

Stokes said she already has five dogs, three of them she adopted after finding them wandering near her home.

With a full house, Stokes asked her neighbor Joan Huskey for help.

“We are not in the city limits of Slaton or Lubbock, so they won’t take them in. That leaves us with the Lubbock County Sheriff,” Huskey said.

However, Lubbock County does not have a leash law, so stray dogs are not picked up unless they are aggressive toward the public or other animals.

Huskey turned to local rescue groups but said they were already overwhelmed.

“Shelters right now are overflowing, rescues are overflowing; it’s a big problem,” said Kim Moyers, President of South Plains SPCA, a foster-based non-profit.

“We deal with probably 20 or 30 animals a day being abandoned and picked up. People find them and do not know what to do with them,” Moyers said.

Moyers said in 2016, they adopted out 603 dogs. In 2021, that number dropped to 385.

Moyers said the drop in adoptions is not because there are fewer dogs that need homes, it is because they have run out of fosters.

“This time last year, we had about 64. We are down to about 20 right now and each one has anywhere from one to three or four dogs at their house,” Moyers said.

Huskey said she took the puppy home and called her County Commissioner, Jason Corley, to see what other resources may be available to county residents.

“His answer was to shoot him. I was already aggravated, and I said, ‘You know, why should that be on my conscience to do that?’ I said, ‘Why don’t you come out here and shoot him?’ And he said, ‘Give me your address, and I’ll come out there right now and take care of it.’ I said, ‘You realize this is a six-month-old puppy in a 10 x 10 kennel, and you are telling me you don’t have a problem shooting this dog through a chain link fence?’ And he said ‘Nope, not one problem. Give me your address and I’ll come out and take care of it,’” Huskey said.

We asked Corley about the incident:

Shaley: You told her that she should just shoot it, and if she didn’t have the heart to do it, you would go out there and shoot it for her.

Corley: Are you talking about the puppy she found or are you talking about the pack of stray dogs we have had out there that have been attacking horses?

Shaley: The puppy she found.

Corley: Oh no, no.

Shaley: It wasn’t that dog?

Corley: No.

Shaley: But with another case that she called you about, you did volunteer to do that? She didn’t mention a pack of dogs, she said it was the puppy.

Corley: We have had a problem with some dogs in that area that were attacking horses. One of the neighbors had his cow dog killed by a pack of dogs. It is unfortunate. So, Ms. Huskey had concerns about those animals so I said, well, if that is something you can’t do, I can come out there and take care of it for you.

So what other resources are available for county residents?

What other resources are available for county residents? We will have that answer for you in our next investigative report.