The animals were badly hit as winter storms continued to wreak havoc in the US and care groups scrambled to respond to calls from abandoned pets in brutal sub-freezing temperatures.
Authorities across Houston, Texas, as well as investigators, have responded to a series of calls from residents relating to dogs fighting on the street for days with no food and frozen water bowls after they were believed to have been left there by the owners.
A Texas dog owner faces charges after eight dogs were found outside in freezing temperatures. The Houston Humane Society said the dogs were “severely malnourished” and one of the dogs had a broken jaw.
In another incident, six dogs were found abandoned by a local body shop in Texas, including one who had died.
Millions of people across the state suffer from severe winter storms that have resulted in freezing temperatures, power outages, water shortages and burst pipes in homes. Officials have warned not to leave dogs outside unattended.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez warned that it is illegal to leave a pet outside and unattended by using a restraint that inappropriately restricts the dog’s movement.
“Under Texas law, pets must be brought into the house in bad weather. It is illegal to restrain your dog in these conditions. Members of a nationwide animal cruelty task force are ready to respond, ”Gonzalez said.
Exceptional scenes of birds on trees, frozen aquariums and thousands of stranded sea turtles were found frozen to death across the state as the temperature dropped below -18 ° C on Monday and a second winter explosion hit cities on Wednesday.
The death toll rose to 24 nationwide in winter storm-related incidents, including a grandmother and three children who died in Sugar Land, Texas, after they accidentally set their home on fire to keep warm.
A dozen animals, including chimpanzees and monkeys, froze to death in a Texas animal shelter after it lost power and staff tried to use generators to keep the animals warm.
The US authorities have been criticized for poor management as the situation continues to deteriorate and experts call for an investigation to identify issues for the future.