(HARRIS COUNTY, Texas) -- Almost 50 police officers went on an early morning raid targeting animal abusers throughout Harris County, Texas, on Saturday morning, including one man who had over 200 animals.
Operation "Don’t Be Cruel" aimed to arrest people with outstanding warrants who had committed crimes against animals and was carried out by the Precinct One Constable's Office animal cruelty unit and the Houston SPCA.
Some of the cases were incredibly alarming.
In a press conference announcing 13 arrests and 25 cleared warrants, the case of Edmond Megdal stood out above the rest.
"We discovered 230-plus animals living in his residence from birds to turtles, to mice to rabbits, bearded dragons, and they were living in deplorable conditions. No water … so he had an animal cruelty warrant for his arrest and he was one of those that we arrested this morning," Constable Alan Rosen said during the police press conference after the raids.
In another case, police arrested Tony Carodine, 25, after viewing videos in which he is allegedly seen slamming a dog to the ground so hard that the animal was left with fractured legs after the incident.
Rosen’s concern was that the individuals who were arrested in Operation "Don't Be Cruel" are "the kind of people that we start watching for that may transition away from animals to humans."
"The only way we are going to be able to solve this problem is by getting everyday citizens to be involved in recording animal cruelty cases," Rosen said.
The constable sounded resolute when discussing the efficacy of the early morning roundup.
"We want those that are going to hurt animals to know that you are not going to get away with it. We are going to come out and we are going to arrest you. Don’t think you are going to get away with it," Rosen said.
In Texas, animal cruelty is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine.
"Animals don't have a voice, so you have to be one for them," said Rosen.
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