Animal Abuse Often Leads To Other Abuse
(Fort Worth, TX) – Perkins, a white and grey pit bull puppy, was surrendered to the Fort Worth Animal Shelter in 2019. At the time, his five-month-old body was bloody and covered in scabs from infections including mange. The puppy was malnourished and dehydrated. His eyes were swollen shut.
He had been adopted by Lewis Lamont Wilson just a few months earlier. On Tuesday, Wilson, 36, pled guilty to the felony charge of Cruelty to an Animal. He was placed on seven years of supervised probation. Furthermore, if he doesn’t meet the conditions of his probation, he faces seven years in prison.
While on probation, he can’t own, possess or have care, custody or control over an animal. He also will not be allowed to consume drugs or alcohol and he will have to take domestic violence classes.
“If we had waited for this to go to trial, it could have taken quite some time given the backlog of cases due to the pandemic,” said David Alex, a Tarrant County assistant criminal district attorney who heads the misdemeanor team. “I would rather have him convicted and on probation than remain on bond for that long.
“This probation means someone will be looking over his shoulder for seven years to make sure he doesn’t come near – or hurt – another animal.”
Alex said this conviction wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of Fort Worth Police Detective Vyers, an animal cruelty investigator.
Happy, healthy and Loved
Perkins is now happy and healthy, living with a new family that adopted him in January 2020, said Patti Dawson, president of Dallas DogRRR, an animal rescue group.
“He’s thriving. He has a great family and so many people supported him and got him through this,” said Dawson, who was the foster for Perkins.
She said Wilson’s conviction ends a sad chapter for Perkins.
“Perkins will get the justice he deserves,” Dawson said.
This is one of many animal cruelty cases reported locally and nationwide each year.
Statistics show that one animal is abused every 60 seconds across the United States. Animal cruelty and abuse often is handed down from parent to child, generation by generation, according to data from Sentient Media.
“This is a great verdict,” said Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney. “Helpless animals depend on us to take care of them.”
“Animal abuse often leads to other abuse. We have found that, in general, someone who abuses animals is significantly more likely to also use violence against people.