A text message sent in error to the wrong recipient has started a firestorm of controversy nationwide and has concerned animal lovers questioning the actions or lack thereof of the Palestine, Texas police department. According to a story posted in the Palestine Herald on May 15, 2017, a Facebook posting depicting a dog bound around the mouth and legs with duct tape went viral sparking outrage. It was also stated in the Herald that the person sending the text message worked for the Palestine Independent School District.
It all started when an unknown male received a text message from an unrecognized sender showing the dog bound to a small wooden post. According to animal activists, this is an antiquated method to force one animal to breed with another. Upon further research, the phone number where the photo originated is registered to Eugene Carr.
Carr’s name has been linked to multiple sites on Google offering breeder pit bulls. On October 8, 2016 Eugene Carr advertised a breeder dog. Alongside the advertisement was a photo showing a fawn colored female pit bull restrained to a similar wooden post with a male dog behind her. In April of 2016, a similar post offered stud services via a male pit bull for $700.00. The name was Carr, and the contact number was the same.
Palestine interim Police Chief John Herod declined to confirm the name of the suspects, only stating it was an ongoing investigation of possible animal cruelty. The Palestine Independent School District also stated on its website that it is investigating one of their employees in connection with the case. In their public statement, they disclosed that one of their employees was allegedly engaging in animal cruelty through improperly breeding dogs and evidence of this was sent via a text message. Although the claim is not school-related, it does involve a school employee, and they will investigate the situation thoroughly. In the interim, the employee whose name was not disclosed has been relieved of their duties.
Animal advocate Lola Olive has been following the case since it first appeared on Facebook. When voicing her concerns to the Palestine Police Department, she received the following response:
“The case is still being investigated. It is not over, yet. You stated that the Carrs were infamous for ‘exploiting dogs’. Do you have more evidence than the original post’s single picture? If there is more information than the original Facebook post that you have, would you mind sharing it? The original poster has ignored our attempts to contact him/her and since deleted the original post. We have been investigating what we can in our jurisdiction and have contacted other agencies that have been investigating this case as well. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.”
This author has also reached out to the Palestine Police Department and interim Chief Herod but has not yet received a response. Concerned citizens can contact the Palestine Police Department at 903-729-2254 and ask them to investigate Eugene Carr, his wife and their friends.