The Dallas Morning News

Woman charged after tossing dog out of moving minivan

- Claire Ballor

A Weatherfor­d woman helped lead authoritie­s to an animal cruelty suspect after she found a skittish Chihuahua mix wandering near her property Thursday.

The woman, identified only as Vanessa, told WFAA-TV (Channel 8) she figured she’d look at her surveillan­ce camera to see whether there were clues about how the scared dog ended up in front of her house. The camera showed a woman tossing the tiny dog out of her moving minivan as she drove by.

Sgt. Ricky Montgomery of the Parker County Sheriff ’s Office said the footage clearly captured the vehicle’s license plate, which helped authoritie­s track down the suspect, 43-year-old Janet Byas.

The Chihuahua, named Pumpkin, also had a microchip that listed the owner as Byas. She has been charged with animal cruelty.

“She indicated that she was frustrated with the dog because it kept getting out of her property and she couldn’t handle it anymore,” Montgomery said.

Pumpkin is in the custody of Parker County Animal Control, where she is receiving veterinary care for hip damage she sustained during the fall, said Karen Kessler, supervisor of the county’s animal shelter.

Kessler said Byas signed ownership of the dog over to animal control, so once Pumpkin is healed, they’ll help her find her next home.

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