A woman arrested and accused of shooting her nursing dog in the head after locking her in a cage with her pups says she'd do it again if need be.
Tammy Green Douglas has been arrested after the Parker County Sheriff's Department investigated a case of animal cruelty. Douglas is now facing a charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals.
According to a news release from the sheriff's office, several tips led investigators to Douglas and her home in rural Parker County. Investigators said Douglas "implicated" herself and said she had become agitated with the dog, a 4-year-old heeler-shepherd mix named Aowa.
According to a probable cause affidavit, police said Douglas admitted in a text message to shooting the dog after it bit and killed another dog, a yorkie named Ginger, who got too close to her puppies.
"I did what I did and would do it again - if need be; she killed Ginger; $400 on her eye," Douglas texted, according to the affidavit.
Police said Douglas admitted to at least two people to taking her father's truck and gun and fatally shooting Aowa before leaving her on the side of the road with her puppies.
Douglas posted $3,000 bond on Sunday afternoon. Attempts to speak with her were unsuccessful as her property was barricaded at the main road.
A resident near the location was told a bullet was found on the side of the road.
At this time, Douglas has not provided a reason why she left the puppies after shooting their mother dead.
“To a normal, caring human, this is an incomprehensible act,” Sheriff Larry Fowler said in the release. “I can’t imagine what the suspect thought theses puppies did in order to warrant her actions. Animal cruelty can never be justified.”
The puppies were abandoned on Thursday and a Springtown bus driver found the caged dogs at about 6:30 a.m. while driving the morning bus route. The cage was left partially in the roadway on the 100 block of Raley Road, not far from Veal Station Road in Springtown.
Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the deceased dog had 10 puppies abandoned in the kennel with her and that they were "still nursing on their deceased mother” when she was recovered by sheriff's deputies.
There were 11 elementary school children aboard the bus when the driver stopped and reported the scene. None of the children ware believed to have seen the cage or dogs, the sheriff's office said.
Sheriff’s Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler said the mother dog was described as a 3-year-old, red shepherd mix with a black muzzle, weighing about 35 pounds. Kessler added the dogs were deliberately placed inside a wire dog kennel, with an egg crate glued to cardboard which was placed in the bottom of the kennel.
“There are currently seven female and three male puppies, approximately 7-9 days old,” Kessler said. “One of the puppies barely has its eyes open. They were covered in their mother’s blood from where she had been shot in the top of the head. The exit wound was located on the left side of her neck, leaving a large puddle of blood. The mother was obviously malnourished and should have weighed at least 50 pounds. We also found an empty metal pan inside the crate.”
The sheriff's department provided photos of the puppies and their mother in the cage, but NBC 5 determined they were too gruesome to publish. Officials later released a photo of the puppies after they had been cleaned, which can be seen above.
“Parker County does not have an animal problem,” said Fowler. “We have a people problem. It’s hard to imagine that someone would be so cruel as to execute any animal, but to kill a dog with nursing babies, and leave such a gory picture, is beyond human imagination.”
The sheriff's department said the pups were released to the care of Angels & Outlaws 2nd Chance Bully Ranch in doing where they have been evaluated by a veterinarian and are being hand-nursed until they are healthy enough to be weaned and adopted.
"They're integrated well with their litters," said Jennifer Aikman, who runs the group. "We're very happy about that. So hopefully we'll have nine available, adoptable puppies."
Aikman said Sunday that the runt of the litter had passed away, after suffering some respiratory issues. But she showed NBC 5 three of the remaining nine puppies with their adoptive litters and surrogate mother.
Aikman was relieved to hear that an arrest had been made, but was surprised it was a woman accused of pulling the trigger. While Aikman can't fully comprehend why someone would do that to the animals, she hopes something good will come of all the attention to this case.
"One positive thing that can come from this is to just make people aware about responsible pet ownership, spaying and neutering," she said.
NBC 5's Chris Van Horne contributed to this report.