Layla attends first meeting Animal abuse group forming
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
Nearly 20 citizens concerned about animal abuse in Houston County met Monday, Sept. 27, at the Houston County Electrical Co-Op Community Room. Lori Bowlin, who recently brought public attention to the plight of Layla, a puppy whose ears were cut off, organized and led the meeting. Bowlin is also active in the East Texas Horse Rescue. Officer Johnny Romo of the Crockett Police Department spoke and answered questions about his job and what the law allows him to do when animal abuse or neglect is suspected. Romo recently became a fully certified peace officer, so he now can write a citation when it is appropriate. If cited owners do not cooperate, they are taken to court and in some cases an animal can be seized. In one case he referenced, a judge ordered a man not to own any dogs in the future. Romo said he is working on developing some proposed animal-friendly ordinances that would address how many square feet are required for keeping a horse, staking out horses and limiting the number of dogs per household in the city of Crockett. Bowlin said she thinks the city is doing the best it can with its resources. She encouraged members of the group to take pictures when they see something question-able, and to start their own documentation of situations getting worse. Lisa Duvall, who tried to rescue a dumped puppy whose was harmed, is also an educator. Bowlin and Duvall agreed to put together a powerpoint presentation for Duvall to take into the schools to teach the children about the proper care of animals. The group tossed around other ideas and plans to meet again. Donations were made at the meeting to establish a reward at Houston County Crimestoppers for the arrest and indictment of the person or persons who cut off Layla’s ears. The group also expressed an interest in applying for a 501c status to become an official non-profit organization. Layla was also at the meeting, and the group quickly dubbed her as their poster child.