Justice For Badly Burned Dog In Question, His Custody Also In Limbo

Local News

“The animals in this County deserve a lot better treatment then what they get.” Said Kimberly Warunek with Harlingen Humane Society while holding a 2-month old Black Labrador mix wrapped in orange medical tape. His caretakers have named him Phoenix as he recovers from burns to 25% of his body.

As News Center 23 previously reported, Phoenix was burned presumably by hot cooking oil. According to the Brownsville Animal Regulation and Care Center, who reportedly gave the puppy medical care, it had been four days since he was burned and infection had already set in.  

Phoenix is currently under the care of Harlingen Humane Society staff but when he has a clean bill of health, the family accused not seeking medical attention could get Phoenix back “He is not really owned by anybody specifically…If the owners chose to come forward and pay the vet bills that Donya Rodriguez has accrued that would be at that point her choice to release him back to them.” explained Kimberly Warunek .

Donja Rodriguez runs the animal fostering, adoption and relocation organization Donja’s Dogs. Rodriguez’s non-profit organization is footing the bill for Phoenix’s medical care, which becomes more expensive by the day. Phoenix was dehydrated when he was taken to Brownsville animal regulation and care center last Wednesday, he also continues to pass intestinal worms “had someone not gone and pick this dog up and taking it in the dog would have laid there and suffered until it probably or eventually died of an infection.” said Kimberly Warunek 

Whether the burns were accidental or not, the Harlingen Humane Society said the lack of medical care is intentional, “You can start seeing signs of infection within 24 to 48 hours.”

With the burns allegedly occurring on the 10th of September, and nearly a week since an investigation was reportedly launched, no charges have been filed. News Center 23 asked Warunek, “should the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department defer charges to the District Attorney’s office how do you foresee that going?” Warunek responded with grief, “I think it’s a clear-cut message to anyone abusive or neglected with animals… but anyone who can look at this animal and say it is acceptable the way he’s been treated, whether it was purposeful or not whether it was a matter of neglect. It still sends the same message it’s okay to treat these animals this way and we’re not going to do anything about it.”

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