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Dog in Troup, Texas Found with Metal Chain Embedded in Neck


Irving, Texas. July 2, 2020

Recently, the SPCA of East Texas and the Smith County Sheriff's Office found a 3-4 month old puppy at a Troup, Texas intersection dragging a heavy metal chain around her neck.

The dog, named Phoebe, had the chain so tight around her neck, and for so long, that it grew into her skin. Due to the severity of her injuries, Phoebe was in the veterinary hospital for four days. She is still in ongoing recovery.

Beyond the clear physical effects of this kind of abuse, animals like Phoebe suffer severe psychological and emotional trauma as well.

The Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN), and its allies like the SPCA of East Texas, have worked the past five years to pass reforms to the state's current laws on proper, humane restraint of a dog outside in Texas. Most importantly among these reforms is the removal of the provision requiring law enforcement to provide a "warning" to owners who are inhumanely restraining their dogs outside each day they observe the offense. This has created an endless cycle of warnings and to THLN's knowledge, no owner has ever been cited under the current law due to this issue.

"We have a law for this, but it is severely broken. Law enforcement cannot intervene until the situation rises to the level of our state's animal cruelty laws, which for dogs like Phoebe mean days, weeks, or even months of pain and suffering needlessly," said Shelby Bobosky, Executive Director for the THLN.

While the bill to address this issue has passed overwhelmingly out of the Texas Senate twice, it has died on the House floor each time due to procedural maneuvers, known as Points of Order, before receiving a final vote.

"Tragically, tethering and chaining a dog or puppy is far too common in East Texas," said Deborah Dobbs, President & Founder of the SPCA of East Texas. "Hundreds of dogs are simply used as 'burglar alarms' staked outside of a home for the duration of their lifetime," she continued. "We stand with THLN to push for reform and prevent more stories like Phoebe's from happening."

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