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Viral video prompts awareness towards animal cruelty in Mission

Photo of dog at animal shelter. (Source: KGBT Photo)

A video of a man dragging a German Shepherd with his electric scooter in Mission shocked local residents and the entire country in February 2017.

According to police, Mario Cardona, 59, was caught on camera dragging the dog and was later arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

The video and local outcry motivated local health officials to create Pawsible in November 2017.

“It makes us feel great that we’re giving these dogs a second chance,” said Ernesto Zapata, supervisor at the Mission Health Department.

According to the city’s health department, the city has rescued 648 dogs so far since November.

The dogs are housed in a city shelter, where the dogs are prepped for adoption locally or go to homes across the county through 36 rescue organizations.

“If you do come and adopt a dog, you get a voucher because we are working with RGV Low Cost spay and neuter,” Zapata said.

Zapata has also taught kids in school about animal cruelty and says the city’s outreach has made an impact.

“To me, it’s very important getting them at a young age, getting them to learn the importance of how to raise your animal correctly,” Zapata said.

“That case in the city of Mission that made national news, obviously established these programs in our community,” said Robert Domínguez, Mission Police Chief.

The city says that reports of animal cruelty have gone down and more people are aware of the legal obligations of taking care of an animal.

To report animal cruelty or adopt a dog from the Mission Dog Shelter, call the Mission Health Department at (956) 580-8741.

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