Ferris, Texas - A Whole City Doin’ it Wrong

Ferris, Texas - A Whole City Doin’ it Wrong

Previously published at Poocini Special Report; The Dukes of Ferris Hazard State Laws

Police in Ferris, TX, a city just south of Dallas, will be spending less time on the shooting range and more time practicing in the streets.

On average, it is reported that one stray dog is found roaming the back alleys of Ferris every day. So when trapping the dogs failed, the Chief of Police, Frank Mooney, decided to remedy the problem “Texas-style.”

Early in December, the police of Ferris were told to shoot stray dogs on sight.

“It’s a health issue that we felt we needed to address before someone got seriously injured,” said Ferris Police Chief Frank Mooney.

Perhaps. But it sounds more like a legal issue-specifically an animal cruelty issue. Under Texas criminal laws, the intentional or knowingly cruel treatment of animals is expressly prohibited. The term “cruel treatment” as it applies to Texas law is very specific in definition. It can be displayed in many ways, and Texas laws define cruelty to include two general types of actions, intentional actions and failure to act. Intentional cruel actions include: (1) torturing an animal (i.e. shooting), or (2) killing, seriously injuring, or poisoning an animal.

But, says Mooney, “These dogs have threatened the residents. They’ve actually come in the backyard and stopped people from coming out of their house.”

That may be true, but another state mandate that Chief Mooney appears to be ignoring is that of accepted euthanasia practices. According to Texas state law, Texas prohibits communities from resorting to euthanasia by any other means than what is mandated by Texas Health & Safety Code, Chapter 821 (Treatment & Disposition of Animals), Subchapter C. This directive requires all animals in animal shelters be euthanized in a humane manner with only one of two methods by a licensed veterinarian or certified technician: administrating sodium pentobarbital or commercially compressed carbon monoxide. A violation of any provision of Subchapter C is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail or a fine of up to $2,000 or both.

Simply stated, officials from communities cannot capture and eliminate “strays” other than as previously described.

(And by the way, Texas state law provides that any private citizen may petition a court to stop action violating any provision of Subchapter C or any DSHS regulation.)

Obviously, I’m no lawyer (for if I were, it’s a guarantee I would be taking some sort of legal action here), but the Texas cruelty laws as they are written seem pretty clear. Is this an example of small town good ol’ boys flipping off “Boss Hog” state laws while doing donuts in General Lee?

I don’t know, I’ve never been to Ferris.

But according to Chief Mooney, the “shoot on sight” tactic may be working already. “I hope the dogs get the message that we’re out here and you need to go somewhere else.”

Gotcha. Maybe you should post a sign to that effect, Chief.

(Where’s Sheriff Rosco when you need him?)

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