Around 150 dogs were residing at Animal Services in Abilene, Texas, prior to August 26th, 2022. In the early hours of that Friday morning, a man broke into the shelter and unlocked several of the kennels, causing chaos.
The man climbed the fence surrounding the shelter and came in through the roof. He then released a bunch of dogs, letting them loose in the building. Things got worse from there.
An Unnecessary Tragedy
One major takeaway from this incident and the resulting tragedy is that shelter dogs are kept in separate kennels for a reason. Some dogs don’t get along with others, and some don’t respond well to being over-stimulated in the shelter environment.
ALL KIND Animal Initiative, a local animal welfare organization, has been frantically working to clean up the mess this man made. In a Facebook post later that day, ALL KIND informed the concerned public:
“The horrific break-in and subsequent turmoil at Abilene Animal Services resulted in the tragic death of one dog, multiple dogs still unaccounted for, and has also left numerous dogs with injuries.”
Different dogs being suddenly thrust together into chaos ultimately resulted in fear and violence. Some fought, others ran. Abilene Police, who discovered the devastating aftermath, shared in a statement:
“Officers found one of the canines deceased, and several other canines injured due to what is believed to be fighting amongst the animals. Several other canines escaped the property through an outside gate, requiring Animal Shelter crews to attempt to locate them outside of the property grounds.”
Detectives later picked up someone who matched the description of a possible suspect and brought him in for questioning. They then officially arrested and charged 38-year-old George Paul Jones for breaking and entering, animal cruelty, and theft of a motor vehicle (he fled the scene in a van stolen from the shelter).
Jones is currently being held at the Taylor County Jail. As of this post, his motives are unclear. Was he looking for his lost dog? Did he feel like unlocking cages was actually for the dogs’ benefit? Was he just causing anarchy?
Ultimately, it’s sad that shelter dogs who might have found proper homes in time ended up severely injured and, in one case, dead.
The Abilene Community Rallies For The Dogs
One silver lining is how quickly local animal rescuers and civil servants responded to a call for help. Shelter employees came in on their days off, volunteers stepped up, and one quick-acting animal control officer even saved a life by breaking up a dog fight.
That saved life belongs to a dog named George, who is currently recovering in a foster home from injuries he received that day. ALL KIND established a medical fund to help pay for his care as well as that of the other dogs who suffered injuries.
ALL KIND’s statement continues:
“We are extremely thankful for the Abilene Animal Services employees, the Abilene police department and the All Kind volunteers that rallied to recapture and provide immediate care and assistance to the dogs as well as clean up and repair the destruction to the building.”
You can donate to the fund on ALL KIND’s Facebook page. If you’re nearby, you can also help by keeping an eye out for the missing dogs. Hopefully, they can be safely recovered and focus on their main mission of getting adopted. Contact Abilene Animal Services at (325) 698-0085 if you spot one!