A Texas woman is demanding answers from the authorities about her arrest by Harris County, Houston police officers after she reported a case of alleged animal cruelty.
Amber Cammack took pictures of a dog allegedly being held in abusive conditions in an apartment in northern Houston, according to reports. The story went viral, with the dog being referred to as the “porch pooch,” KPRC reported.
The pictures showed the dog, named June, with a string around its mouth and wearing a diaper.
Karress Buckman, who said June belonged to her son’s friend who was staying at her apartment for a week, denied the animal had been abused.
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“The diaper was due to the dog having loose stool,” Buckman told KPRC. “We didn't want it to drip down on the neighbor below because she had urinated.”
According to KPRC, the dog was examined by a veterinarian on Nov. 2 and by an investigator on Nov. 3. The examinations reportedly found no dehydration, malnutrition, open wounds, or marks.
Cammack’s neighbors were reportedly unhappy she had posted their private information online, and complained to Harris County deputies. This resulted in Cammack’s arrest on charges of electronic harassment.
After Cammack had been held for 14 hours, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges.
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“I’m sad,” Cammack told KHOU. “I’m mad. It’s a little bit of everything. I’m disgusted with the county. I’m disgusted with the DA’s office.”
Buckman suggested that Cammack had been too quick to jump to conclusions.
“Other than my neighbor below, nobody else attempted to knock on the door, ask about the dog, inquire about the dog or any of the above,” claimed Buckman, according to KPRC.
Cammack’s attorney, Randall Kallinen, held a press conference, where he defended his client.
“It is freedom of speech and this is a horrendous case of the violation of freedom of speech,” said Kallinen, KHOU reported.
Crime victims' advocate Kim Ogg criticized the DA’s office at the same press conference, reported KPRC.
“Since disbanding the Animal Cruelty Unit of the HCDAO, this district attorney has done nothing to protect animals from senseless cruelty,” Ogg claimed.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson denied these allegations, stating that an animal cruelty division employing six people has been in operation.
“As the owner of a beautiful dog named Ellie, I do not condone how this dog was treated,” Anderson added, in a message posted on her office’s Facebook page. “But under Texas law, there is no probable cause to warrant criminal charges.”