Georgetown woman almost runs second dog to death

A woman in Georgetown is charged with animal cruelty for almost running her dog to death. And police said three weeks ago she actually did run one of her other dogs to death. Neighbors told police they saw Esmeralda Escobar running with her 10-year-old border collie named Oliver in the heat of the day on July 18.

When a Williamson County deputy arrived at Escobar's home he noticed Oliver was unable to move and whimpering. The officer asked Escobar if she was going to take Oliver to get treatment, she said no. It was three weeks after Escobar was charged for running her 3-year-old Australian shepherd Honey to death.
The officer told Escobar to take Oliver to the veterinarian. Later, the officer received a call from the vet saying Escobar had asked to euthanize the dog because she couldn't afford to treat him. Veterinarian Dr. Ian Voelzel, who did not treat Oliver, said unfortunately overheated animals are pretty common in Texas this time of year.

"Definitely is a very serious, life threatening disease or accidental injury if you will," said Voelzel.  

The best way to protect a dog from heat stroke is to recognize the signs before it becomes too serious.

"The biggest things to look for are excessive panting, you can also see some dogs develop their gums or their tongue look almost brick red," Voelzel said.  

Seek help immediately if your dog's body starts to shut down.

"You will see things like weakness, collapse, kind of real wobbly, almost like they're drunk and that's a relatively quick and sudden change," said Voelzel.

If a dog is overheated the best thing to do is get it in a pool or spray it down with a hose. Then take it for medical care. People in Austin said they take several steps to protect their animals from the dangerous Texas heat.

"I hear a lot of horror stories about dogs getting heat stroke so I try to avoid that," said Claudia Ho who was with her dog at Zilker Park Thursday.  

"He likes to get out, but because the summer's been so hot, I'm not taking him out as much," said Brett Hart who was also with his dog at Zilker Park.  

Voelzel said it is best to avoid exercising a dog during the hottest part of the day and make sure they have plenty of water. Also in Williamson County, a man arrested after police say he shot his parents two dogs.

Dustin Fowkes told police the dogs went to the bathroom on his mother's rug and then tore up his bedroom. Fowks said he took the dogs behind the house and shot them with a rifle. He is also charged with animal cruelty.