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Puppy Found in Closet Thriving at SPCA of Texas

Seized from Dallas Apartment in Connection with Alleged Child Abandonment


(DALLAS, TX); February 28, 2019 – On Monday, February 18, the SPCA of Texas received protective custody of a puppy found confined to a closet inside of a Dallas apartment in connection with a case of alleged child abandonment. The puppy was seized as part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation by the Dallas Police Department. The puppy, a 4-month-old female Pit Bull mix now named Mantis, was transferred to the SPCA of Texas from Dallas Animal Services and examined by an SPCA of Texas veterinarian. The initial examination revealed that she was suffering from intestinal parasites but otherwise appears healthy. Despite the circumstance she came from, Mantis is friendly, playful and affectionate with staff and volunteers at the SPCA of Texas. Medical staff have treated her intestinal parasites and will continue to care for her until a civil custody hearing takes place, and if final custody is awarded to the SPCA of Texas, she will be evaluated for adoption or placement. The civil custody hearing will take place on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. at the Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1, Place 2 court in Lancaster, TX. Criminal animal cruelty charges may be filed against the owner(s) in this case.

To view photos of Mantis, please visit:

Dallas Police Department dispatched officers to an apartment in the 4700 block of Meadow Lane in Dallas on Saturday, February 16, in reference to a call about an abandoned child. One of the apartment residents, Robert Preston, was arrested at the scene on five unrelated charges and booked in the Lew Sterrett Justice Center. Upon searching the apartment, responding officers found one small puppy confined to a closet. The closet was filled with feces, and the puppy did not have access to food or water. Due to exigent circumstances, the puppy was removed immediately and brought to Dallas Animal Services, where she received initial care. Responding officers alerted the designated Dallas Police Department Animal Cruelty Detective on-call and an investigation of alleged animal cruelty was initiated.

The puppy was transferred to the SPCA of Texas from Dallas Animal Services on Monday, February 18, to receive further care during the investigation and pursuant to the current Memorandum of Understanding between the Dallas Police Department and the SPCA of Texas designed to bring animal cruelty perpetrators to justice. The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Animal Services work to receive and identify cases of animal cruelty in Dallas County, and the Dallas Police Department’s designated Animal Cruelty Detectives oversee the investigation of these cases. The SPCA of Texas provides housing and medical care for animals involved in these cases during the investigation. For more information about the MOU and how the SPCA of Texas assists the Dallas Police Department with animal cruelty investigations, please visit

To help support the SPCA of Texas and its efforts to help abused, neglected and homeless animals and to support the SPCA of Texas' other programs and services, please visit


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SPCA of Texas Voices

"I'm absolutely in LOVE with Kitty (formerly Kaleigh). I know her name isn't original at all but I just started calling her that until I could think of a name and it just stuck - it's so her! I've attached two photos - she's seriously the most beautiful kitty in the world! She loves to steal tennis balls and bones from her dog sister - she thinks she's a dog! She enjoys going for walks and car rides, snuggling with mom, bird watching, drinking from the sink, playing with her pipe cleaners and getting into mom's makeup in the mornings. I couldn't 'imagine life without her. She's the absolute best!"

Laureen Jankins

Pet Owner