See the end of this post for more from the chief animal control investigator's affidavit. Former Spindletop dog refuge owner Leah Purcell poured water down a pit bull's nose while its mouth was held shut, "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly" torturing it to death in December 2011, according to ... More >>
The cruel world the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act is trying to shut down.
The Texas chapter of the Humane Society of the United States is joining in the push to pass federal legislation that would help enforce the ban against "soring" -- hurting show horses to exaggerate a high-stepping gait. The barbaric practice, which we'll describe in a moment, was barred by legisla ... More >>
A Great Dane at the center of a custody dispute in Galveston County is now evidence in a criminal investigation, but Galveston officials are mum on who is being investigated, and for what. A photo of the dog -- her face covered in blood -- taken from within the Galveston County animal shelter went ... More >>
You Have 51 animals in your home, claim to run a no-kill shelter and you write notes to your dead veterinarian? Sounds fine.
Critics say the common cat surgery is painful and can lead to other problems.
So your cat just slashed your prized Australian aborigine drum set. Or maybe that cute as a button kitten you got just a few weeks ago took out the wall paper in your den. No problem: just have your cat declawed and all that goes away. You'll never have to worry about home destruction or battling wi ... More >>
Last month, Almita Flores of Houston found a gorgeous yellow lab. She says she posted flyers in her neighborhood, as well as a notice on Craigslist, but never heard from anyone claiming to be the owner. After two weeks, she says, the dog -- who she decided to call Max -- got out of her gate, only to ... More >>
It was the note seen 'round the world -- er, well, at least 'round Texas, anyway: The owners of a Yorkie named Gizmo, who had been missing for two weeks, received a note purporting to be from a woman who said she had found the dog (sans tag) at a gas station and decided to give him to her 14-year-ol ... More >>
There are a few crucial qualities that pet owners might seek in a veterinarian: experience, bedside manner, a natural love of animals. "Crippling meth addiction" would probably rank toward the bottom of the list. But that's just what former Dallas-area vet David Snyder had, and it led to his 44-yea ... More >>
A San Antonio lab says primate research is necessary for curing diseases like AIDS and hepatitis. But what progress has really been made.
Sad kitten is sadA veterinarian who left the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care after he was caught dispensing controlled substances without proper registration is now accused of botching routine surgeries on four kittens last week at his new job at a low-cost clinic. Marie Melancon told H ... More >>
Animal psychic Sonya Fitzpatrick hears voices - the dog and cat kind.
Sonya Fitzpatrick, as documented in this week's cover story, knows what your dog, cat, bird or frog is thinking. If you happen to have a bear or tiger as a pet, the famous animal communicator could let you know what those beasts are feeling, too. Before the world's most celebrated pet psych ... More >>
Undercover footage from a dairy farm southwest of Amarillo shows workers crushing sick and injured calves' skulls with pickaxes and hammers, and tossing dying calves on a pile of dead ones in the back of a truck -- acts that one animal welfare group says violates state cruelty laws. Gathered by ... More >>
They misspelled "Harrison"According to a March 2009 study, the average veterinarian in the United States makes $93,398 per year. According to foxsports.com, James Harrison is set to make $13,357,280 for playing football in 2010. Harrison might want to make note of these statistics if he's serio ... More >>
Takes on a whole new meaning with horse teeth floatersWho knew that in one week Hair Balls would write not one, but TWO stories about horse teeth floaters and live to tell about it.As we discussed on Thursday, Libertarians rallied in Austin on Friday to protest changes to rules that could negativ ... More >>
Damnit, Wilbur, fix my ugly ass grill!In what is apparently the worst government over-regulation since monkeys were banned from grinding organs for a living (damn you, Organ Grinders Local 182!!!), the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is meeting to decide whether the important job of hors ... More >>
You said you would change, BARCA former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care employee filed a whistleblower suit against the City of Houston Tuesday, claiming she was fired after she notified investigators of animal cruelty and record-tampering. Hope Bennett's complaint states that she  ... More >>
Photo by blue_sharpieThis guy's got questionsHouston City Council members Wednesday approved a $70,000 settlement with a former Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care veterinarian who filed a whistleblower suit against the city in 2009.Gil Costas was fired in February 2009 for what a BARC spokesper ... More >>
The Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care's chief vet, who was instrumental in the decision to operate in-house on a severely injured dog -- who did not survive surgery -- was reprimanded by Virginia's veterinary board in 2007.According to documents filed with the Virgina's Department of Health Pr ... More >>
With a history of mismanagement, reckless disregard and outright abuse under its belt, the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care has its work cut out for it when it comes to righting wrongs.Houston's devoted and vocal animal rescue community has been integral in instituting a change in command -- ... More >>
Photo by SquidHouston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care fired a veterinarian Thursday, but Interim Bureau Chief Gerry Fusco said two part-time vets will cover those hours so there will be no lag in services. Fusco and Janice Evans, communications director for Mayor Annise Parker, ... More >>
Photo by riquardIn a move to raise revenue for a new adoption center, the City of Houston is ordering veterinarians to provide clients' names and their pets' licensing information. According to a September 28 letter from Administrative and Regulatory Affairs Director Alfred Moran to&nbs ... More >>
Veterinarian Gil Costas, fired from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care last February for an alleged registration violation, has sued the City under the Texas Whistleblower Act.Filed today, the suit accuses the city of "trying to hurriedly squelch Dr. Costas and discredit him" after Costa ... More >>
BARC went through some housecleaning yesterday -- in a big way.In addition to the firing of veterinarian Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze, other BARC personnel issues Wednesday included the resignation of Administrative Supervisor Dorian Strickland and a "disciplinary procedure in process" for vet tech ... More >>
Photo by bf_photos The Harris County District Attorney's Office has charged a BARC volunteer for filing a false police report regarding animal abuse he said he heard while at the city's animal control facility. Shelby Kibodeaux was charged July 1 with the class B misdemeanor, which ca ... More >>
Photo by mary_thompsonWhen it comes to the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, Stephen Williams is a man who does not like to dwell on the past. As the director of Houston's Department of Health and Human Services, he said in an interview Monday that while he was aware of years of criticism of BAR ... More >>
Photo by maarjaara The Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has fined BARC Chief Veterinarian Eunice Ohashiegbula and former BARC vet David Rundell for violating U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Texas Veterinary Licensing Act requirements. In Texas, veterinarians who dispense cont ... More >>
Photo by Craig MalisowAs BARC's new bureau chief, Ray Sim has his work cut out for him. He now heads an organization that has historically resisted change and ostracized volunteers who have made claims of cruel conditions, with the full support of an administration and city council that believes the ... More >>
Veterinarian David Rundell resigned today from the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, spokeswoman Kathy Barton confirmed. Nicole Sica at the Houston Examiner was the first on the story. Rundell was suspended with pay three weeks ago for allegedly treating a sick dog with Valium he brou ... More >>
Gil Costas, a part-time veterinarian at Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, was fired today for lack of state-mandated certification, Houston Health and Human Services Spokeswoman Kathy Barton told Hair Balls. The news was originally broken by Nicole Sica, editor of the animal-welfare b ... More >>
The city's animal shelter just can't get its act together
No doubt many of Houston's animal-advocacy community are up in arms over this morning's Chron story on BARC's head vet, Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze, who had her license suspended in New Jersey.But we at Hair Balls were a little more understanding - really, who hasn't accidentally killed people's dogs ... More >>
Because Ike (that bastard) has created more victims beyond the human variety, it’s important to keep our furry friends in mind. Fortunately, groups like the Houston Humane Society and the Houston SPCA have been keeping us apprised of the animal situation, and what folks can do to help out. First, ... More >>
Horsing around at a feed store happy hour
Texas struggles with what to do with its overabundance of Equus caballus, while Europeans wait with open mouths
The perfect gift for the pet that has -- ahem -- almost everything
Toyya Braskey lives with 100 cats. They are her life. Now the city says they have to go.
An animal typically has three days before he leaves the city pound, dead or alive. What happens during that time continues to cause concern.
BCP Veterinary Pharmacy
People pay lots more for organic produce, but are they getting their money's worth?
A new report rips into claims that racehorse Alydar's wounds were self-inflicted
A&M's pet project spawns a company to mix DNA with possible IPOs
Embattled director Olson departs as signs of reform arrive
Beneath the pretty facade of the Houston Zoo lies a world where animals, and their keepers, are being shortchanged
The connection between pets and their owners doesn't necessarily end with death