On Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia, along with former Dallas County Commissioner Maureen Dickey, District Attorney Craig Watkins, Gary Griffith representing Safer Dallas Better Dallas and various animal advocates held a press conference announcing a new effort to combat animal abuse. Commissioner Elba Garcia introduced a memorandum of understanding to Commissioners Court that creates an Animal Cruelty Unit within the District Attorney’s Office. The Animal Cruelty Unit will focus on the investigation and prosecution of offenders that neglect, torture or kill animals in Dallas County.
Commissioner Garcia spearheaded the collaboration, bringing together the District Attorney’s Office, Safer Dallas Better Dallas and animal advocates to create the unit. Former County Com-missioner Maureen Dickey and her husband, Roland Dickey, committed a $40,000 donation to help begin the effort. With over 2,500 cases of animal cruelty reported thus far in 2012, animal cruelty is a problem in Dallas County. Cross-reporting, data-sharing, investigation, evidence collection and increasing public awareness will prove effective in the fight against animal neglect, abuse, and killing.