• March 7, 2021

Sheriff dispels social media post - Odessa American: Law Enforcement

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Sheriff dispels social media post

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Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 5:00 pm

Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis addressed a post that had been making the rounds on social media about a dog that died from cold exposure.

Griffis said the Ector County Sheriff’s Office investigated the claim but he said it turned out the dog had died a couple days earlier after it was hit by a car.

The dog was examined by a veterinarian and it was determined that the dog had died prior to its exposure to the cold.

“We determined that the dog had been run over a few days earlier,” Griffis said during an interview on Wednesday morning. “I guess it was out by the road and supposedly individuals pulled it up into the yard. It didn’t freeze there in the yard like that.”

Though that social post was determined to be false, Griffis said that doesn’t discount the fact that animals need a safe and warm place to stay during the continuous cold snap.

Temperatures in Odessa are projected to stay under 32 degrees Fahrenheit until Friday. The weekend is supposed to feature temperatures in the 60s.

“If someone has a pet at home, they need to find good shelter for it,” Griffis said. “If someone were to intentionally let their dog stay outside in bad conditions, we would definitely investigate it and make sure they took all necessary measures to take proper care of that animal.”

Hope Elliott, an administrator for Friends Of The Odessa Animal Control, spoke with the Odessa American over the phone on Wednesday afternoon. She posted on Saturday that Friends Of The Odessa Animal Control is looking for people to temporarily foster dogs and cats.

Since Elliott made that post at 4:03 p.m. Saturday, the post has 51 shares and 65 comments. Elliott said people who want to temporarily foster animals can contact the Facebook page.

“We always need fosters, but we especially need fosters right now,” Elliott said. “We also need owners to bring their pets inside more than ever at this point. They could freeze to death, which is very inhumane.”

Odessa Police Department spokesperson Cpl. Steve LeSueur said over the phone that reports of animals being left outside are turned over to Odessa Animal Control as the investigating agency.

According to Texas Penal Code, penalties that individuals could face by keeping their pet out in the cold are animal cruelty charges, which can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

“We want everyone to be mindful especially when it is below freezing,” LeSueur said. “We want people to bring their animals indoors, if possible.”

Odessa, TX

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