Abandoned Dog Lingers at Burned Down Home After Owner Dies

Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 8:52am

It caught fire back in December and the home off of Dockberry caught fire again earlier this week, and this time burned all the way to the ground.

The fatal fire back at the end of 2010 took the life of the homeowner, but one resident of the home lingers on the property, the deceased homeowner's dog.

"The people in this place come in here a couple of times a month you know, and somebody gives some water and food al perro (to the dog), somebody leaves after 30-40 minutes, someone only stays for a little while and leaves," says neighbor Omar Aparecio.

She's a chow mix with a fairly content temperament and seems to be getting a long fine living among the charred rubble.

"The city ordinance says that after 24 hours after an animal being unattended, it's considered abandoned, so someone either needs to be on the property or the dog needs to be removed," says Brownsville Animal Control Officer Robert Dippong.

The property off of Dockbery Rd. is technically in the county but the city will respond in rare situations like this one.

Animal shelter officials say the living environment is not quite favorable to her health. With little food, water or appropriate shelter, the dog isn't receiving the type of care she was probably used to back when her owner was alive.

Wednesday animal control officers put a notice on the property letting whoever owns the land know that they need to claim the dog or that she'll be picked up. The notice is good for 24 hours. If the dog is still alone on the property, Thursday at 10 am the officers will come back to pick the dog up; this of course all in hopes of getting the dog into a better home.

"Most likely, in cases like this, we have a lot of rescue groups that come forward and say we'll pick the animal up if no one wants to adopt it," says Dippong.

In the meantime, the animal control officers leave a little something for the dog to tide her over for the day.

"The dog is staying there all the time, he's a good dog, doesn't bother anybody, you know, he's a good dog right there," says Aprecio.

If in fact the dog is picked up Thursday morning, she'll be vaccinated, evaluated over the next 72 hours to make sure she's healthy and adoptable, and then she could be yours. News Center 23 will be following up on the dog's status, you can log back on to our website for that information.

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