Although an eyewitness viewed—and a police investigation reportedly confirmed—that three city workers in Jourdanton, Texas, drowned at least five dogs at the city sewage treatment plant in July, a grand jury did not indict the workers on felony cruelty-to-animals charges. One eyewitness stated in an on-camera interview that the dogs were lowered into water at the sewage plant while they were in cages. Allegedly, dogs who escaped were strangled with "snares" around their necks and held under water while they struggled and flailed until they died of suffocation. The supervisor who reportedly ordered the drownings apparently still works at the animal shelter.
This shocking case was referred to Atascosa County Attorney R. Thomas Franklin in September, but no charges have been filed. Please write polite letters to Franklin urging him to prosecute these workers (reportedly Paul Lozano, Edward Cruz, and supervisor Chantan Morin) to the fullest extent of the law.
Title 9 §42.09 (Cruelty to Animals) of the Texas State Penal Code forbids the torture of animals. Title 25 §169.83 (Allowable Methods of Euthanasia) of the Texas State Administrative Code states that "[o]nly sodium pentobarbital or commercially compressed carbon monoxide gas may be used to euthanize a dog or cat in the custody of an animal shelter." Please point out to the county attorney that both these laws were violated in each instance of drowning an animal.
Please remember that polite letters are more effective than nasty ones.
The Honorable R. Thomas Franklin, Esq.
Atascosa County Attorney
Circle Drive, 5-1
Jourdanton, TX 78026-0000
Accused Abuser Still Working at Animal Shelter
The facts of this case were appalling enough to begin with. We were horrified to hear new allegations of abuse and learn that the accused "ringleader" in the drowning case is back at work at the city's animal shelter. Despite City Manager Dan Nick's assurance on August 11 that Morin had been permanently removed from all duties that would place him in contact with animals, we recently received these graphic photographs of a dog whom Morin reportedly admitted to the Jourdanton animal control facility and was then denied needed veterinary care. A concerned citizen alleges that when Morin picked up the dog on October 6, the animal was wearing a collar that she had outgrown so much that it was cutting deeply into her neck. Morin apparently left her in a kennel at the animal control shelter without any medical treatment. The citizen found the dog in the same condition at the shelter the next day. When asked why the dog had not been taken to a veterinarian or euthanized, Morin reportedly offered to remove the collar from the deep wound in the animal's neck "with his knife." The citizen then took the dog to a local veterinarian, where the collar was professionally removed, the wound was cleaned, and the animal was given antibiotics. Failing to provide care for a dog in this condition is a clear violation of §l;42.09 of the Texas State Penal Code, which notes that a person commits a cruelty-to-animals offense if he or she "fails unreasonably to provide necessary food, care, or shelter for an animal in the person's custody" (emphasis added).
The latest report is simply more evidence in an obvious case. Morin must not be allowed to work in a position that places him in contact with living beings, the serious allegations of cruelty to animals against him must be investigated, and criminal charges must be pursued.
Not surprisingly, one news article reports that Morin failed animal-care training courses twice. In July, city officials publicly admitted that he was responsible for the illegal and cruel drowning of dogs in the city's custody, yet officials have continuously and recklessly failed to protect animals by refusing to move Morin to another city department.
Please write to city officials today and urge them to take the necessary steps to ensure that Morin never comes into professional contact with another animal. Ask that a second criminal investigation be undertaken into the October incident in which a dog was denied veterinary care at the city's shelter. Everyone involved in these heartbreaking cases must be held accountable.
Please remember that impolite letters can do more harm than good.
Dan Nick, City Manager
1220 Simmons Ave.
Jourdanton, TX 78026