By Zora Asberry
ODESSA - An Odessa woman is furious. She claims her two pit bulls were badly injured after a mistake made by Animal Control when a pit bull that wasn't hers was put in her backyard. A mistake that led to bad dog fight leaving all three dogs severely injured.
Raquel Mendoza, the owner of the two pit bulls, said, "When the police department and Animal Control showed up they said, all three dogs were outside because I own two dogs. And my neighbor said no, your dogs were not out."
"The gentleman from Animal Control said, 'well, I just assumed it lived here' and I said well that's not proper procedure. You should have impounded the dogs, even if my dogs were out, impound them, don't just assume they live somewhere and put them in somebody's yard," said Mendoza.
Raquel's brother-in-law went to visit the home and saw the stray dog in the backyard. When he approached it, the dog showed aggressive behavior causing Raquel's two dogs to defend him which ended in a dog fight.
"My male dog was badly injured, my female dog not so much. The stray dog was very, very severely injured and we couldn't find him. Later, my sister in law found him on social media and we were able to find out that a nice person had picked him up to get him veterinary care," said Mendoza.
Steve LeSueur, Public Information Officer with the Odessa Police Department, says that placing a dog in the backyard of a home is not standard protocol for Animal Control.
"Normally if Animal Control officers do locate a dog that's running loose and they're unsure who it belongs to, then normally they'll take it back to the animal shelter. The Animal Control officer did what he thought was the right thing to do by placing all three of those dogs. Unfortunately, all three of those dogs didn't belong at that residence," said LeSueur.
Now it is up to the City of Odessa whether or not they are going to cover the vet bills for all three dogs, that may total over $1,000.