The Animal Cruelty Unit is a specialized division of the DA’s office dedicated to protecting animals from neglect and mistreatment. The vision of the new Unit is to be the voice for the voiceless, ensure justice and maintain safety for all Dallas County citizens. There is extensive, well documented research that confirms the strong correlation between violence to animals and violence to people.
With over 2,500 cases of animal cruelty reported in 2012, animal cruelty continues to be a serious problem throughout Dallas County. Recognizing the need for effective prosecution of offenders that neglect, torture and kill animals, the DA’s office sends a strong message to their perpetrators: Dallas County will not tolerate animal abuse.
Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia initiated a collaborative effort, bringing together the District Attorney’s Office, former Dallas County Commissioner Maureen Dickey, Gary Griffith representing Safer Dallas Better Dallas, and a variety of animal advocates, all of who were instrumental in the formation of the Dallas County Animal Cruelty Unit.
Felony Trial Bureau Chief, David Alex oversees the unit comprised of Assistant District Attorney Debbie Smith and Investigator Steve Wilson.