Woman seeks help for dog tied to clothesline

Animal Care Services launches investigation after complaint of alleged neglect


SAN ANTONIO – Animal Care Services has opened an investigation after receiving a report of a dog tied to a clothesline behind a home believed to be vacant on the 100 block of Can't Stop.

Alice Bright said she has repeatedly called ACS since last August to report the dog.

"I literally stood there with tears in my eyes the other day to see that dog like that," Bright says. "I threw him some food the other day and it was like he just sucked it up. He didn't even take the time to chew it because he's so hungry."

ACS officials said the agency has record of a call made on April 9 and a call made in October 2014. ACS investigated the 2014 report of alleged neglect but closed the case as a result of the owner agreeing to take care of a flea problem.

Bright turned to SAPD when she felt she was getting nowhere with calls to the city.

"I called an officer the other day, and he came out and told me I needed to call animal control, and I said, 'Well, animal control told me to call you,'" Bright said.

Keeping a dog on a vacant property can potentially lead to neglect, according to ACS, but is not against the law.

"There's nothing illegal about it," said Audra Houghton, field operations supervisor for ACS. "There isn't a law currently that says you cannot keep an animal on a vacant property as long as it is properly cared for."

That is what investigators must now determine.

A field investigator visited the home on Tuesday, but an ACS spokesperson could not share details of that inspection as of late that afternoon.

To determine whether an animal has been abandoned, ACS said it must first leave a notice at the home in question. While each case has its own unique circumstances, Houghton stressed, ACS will typically begin the process of getting a warrant to remove the dog from a property if investigators have not heard from an owner within 48 hours.

"I've seen him like that for so long," Bright says. "By the grace of God, I want to get him some help."

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