Man attacks puppy in NE Houston phone store before selling it for $20

The Labrador mix puppy didn’t suffer serious injuries and just found a new home

Surveillance cameras at a NE Houston phone store captured a man yanking, choking, and smacking a puppy before employees say he took it down the street and sold it to a taco truck employee.

The man, who hasn’t been publicly identified, is expected to face charges after an investigation by the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office and the Houston SPCA.

It happened April 22, according to the SPCA. It’s one of thousands of animal abuse cases the nonprofit sees every year, but it’s a good reason to report cruelty quickly if you see it happening, said Chief Animal Welfare & Medical Officer Roberta Westbrook.

“It’s really traumatizing to see. You can just imagine how she must feel, having to go through that physically and emotionally,” Westbrook said.

Miraculously, the puppy estimated to be only a few months old, did not sustain any serious injuries.

“We were able to catch this soon enough and rescue her soon enough that she did not sustain any lifelong injuries like broken bones,” Westbrook said.

In the video, the man could be seen yanking the dog by the leash before she flies into the glass wall of the phone store.

After they left, Constable Alan Rosen’s investigators said the abuse continued outside of a taco truck on East Mount Houston Road.

An employee of the taco truck told KPRC 2 she bought the puppy from the man for $20 because she loves dogs and she didn’t like what she saw happening. She wanted to give her a good home.

But phone store employees had already called for help, and the SPCA was responding with Precinct 1.

They found the puppy, which was affectionately named Buttercup, about a quarter mile away and past a freeway overpass from the phone store at the taco stand.

A medical evaluation determined she didn’t have any serious injuries or need surgery.

“The really good thing is that this hasn’t broken her spirit. She’s still so full of energy and love,” Westbrook said.

On Tuesday evening, Buttercup was adopted at the Houston SPCA.

Her new owner told KPRC 2 that she’s been looking for a puppy for the last six months and when she met Buttercup, she found her to be perfect.

She didn’t know the backstory about the alleged abuse, but the Houston SPCA said it should remind everyone to call and report any suspected abuse.

"The best thing that you can do is get involved. Call the Houston SPCA. Notify someone so that we can come out right away. And luckily, that’s what happened. Someone called us. We were able to get out there soon so that we could still track the person,” Westbrook said.

Pct. 1 investigators have submitted the case to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, a spokesperson for Pct. 1 said, but charges have not yet been filed.

Report animal cruelty to the Houston SPCA by calling 713-869-7722 or at

About the Author

Bryce Newberry joined KPRC 2 in July 2022. He loves the thrill of breaking news and digging deep on a story that gets people talking.

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