Mangy and flea infested dogs confiscated by Cameron County authorities

Action 4 News cameras were rolling Monday as Cameron County Constables and animal control officers arrived at a home on Gamble Drive located just outside San Benito.

They confiscated over a half-dozen mangy and flea infested dogs and puppies.

"These animals are very ill and by (the owner) keeping them here, they can turn on her, they can bite her, - it's a serious situation where we had to step-in and advise her of the consequences," Constable Officer Joe Hernandez said.

Maria Rodriguez, the owner of the dogs, was cited with a Class A misdemeanor and had to turn-over the dogs and puppies.

Her pit bull named Chata, had lost much of her coat to mange and most of the 11 puppies she recently had.

Rodriguez doesn't see any wrong-doing on her part, and said she's actually trying to help.

"The dogs arrived here on my property on their own because people come and dump them by the Resaca, Maria Rodriguez said. I try to feed them and I give them water and medicine."

Debbie Layton lives just down the road, and agrees people dump unwanted animals in their area too often.

However, she said keeping the animals in such conditions is unacceptable.

"I think the big problem in general, is education, Layton said. I think that there's commercials out there and people still just don TMt pay any attention. If you're going to have an animal, it needs treatment if it gets sick it needs (and it needs) to be fed.

Constable Hernandez said Rodriguez couldn't afford to do that.

He also said officers respond to animal cruelty cases on a daily basis.

"By (people) dumping dogs in the middle of nowhere, it's no good, Hernandez said. Take them to the local animal shelter, they'll take them, turn them over to a good family that will provide a good home for them. It's unfortunate that this is happening."

Rodriguez is facing a fine from $500 to $1000 dollars for the Class A misdemeanor.

The animals were taken to the Cameron County Animal shelter located on FM 510.